Monday, July 30, 2018


Most people make New Year's Resolutions.  A new calendar.  A clean slate. A chance to upgrade and improve.  Teachers do this too; we just do it in August instead of January.

We spend the summer looking back, evaluating what went well and what needs an "upgrade", and then we get to start fresh in for a new school year.

This year's resolution is a continuation of last years because it's a big one.  To me, it is one of the most valuable components of education - and just like all great things, it takes time.

Make learning relevant and meaningful.  

How do we, as teachers, make our assignments MORE?  More than a grade.  More than a checked box.  More than a week on the calendar.

I believe that my photography classes need relevant, real world experience both in work and in exhibition.  We began doing work in the community.  We started an online sales gallery.  We published a yearly photo book.  We competed in local, state, and national contest.  All students maintained a reflective blog portfolio, and advanced students built their own business website. 

But I wanted MORE.

And finally, on August 9th, we will take the next step.  In partnership with the Fort Sam Houston Museum at the Quadrangle, Cole photography students will have their own gallery exhibit.  Real.  Relevant.  More.

I know how much work - mental and physical - my students put into their assignments.  I see their vision come to life on the screen.  But it's a whole new ballgame when their community sees it in person, mounted on the wall of a public gallery.  And my heart bursts with pride for them.