One of the first lessons I learned when I started my career at The Rivers School was that rarely, if ever, was there not something going on that was worth remembering. Whether it is a teacher who has brought their class outside to enjoy the weather, a group of boys who created a makeshift volleyball net on the football field, or a gaggle of middle schoolers laughing and joking on their way to band practice, being ready to capture these moments means that I need to be proactive – so I bring my camera everywhere.
My camera is not always the one slung over my shoulder or the one that rests in my pocket. Instead, the most valuable camera I have is the one that takes in the daily life of the school and files it away in my memory where they provide the context that allows me to tell the school’s story in a way that is both authentic and student-centered. By remaining connected to the spontaneous events of the school day – and being present on campus – my work is able to better embody that which makes this school such a special place.
This picture is a perfect example of what I am talking about. On this fall afternoon, I happened to have my DSLR at the ready, but this was not the first time I had seen one of our Middle School teachers using the windows of their classroom as a tool. This picture showcases the creativity of our faculty and the way they use every inch of space and every minute of the day to engage their students in hands-on learning as well as the students’ curiosity and appetite for learning.
Had I not filed away snapshots of fleeting moments where faculty were engaging their students, I would not have been prepared to tell this story. By bringing my “camera” with me everywhere, I was able to open a window through which the outside world could see what we are up to.