During my forty-year career as an educator, I took thousands of pictures of students participating in class, going on school trips, and helping with club events, but there is one photo, just an old black, and white that stands out for me because it was a special moment with several points that are important to me.
Living in Georgia, we don’t see snow very often. When it falls during a school day, you have to throw the lesson plan out the window because the students can’t focus on anything except the snow. On the day in the photo, we had gotten a light dusting, but it was wet snow which a New Englander knows is perfect for snowballs. My French 1 class headed out to play in that little bit of snow. Here are the reasons why this picture is so special to me.
The first reason I love it is that it speaks to me of relationships. At my school, the classes were small you really had a chance to get to know students and build a bond. I was lucky because as the only French teacher, I could have the same students for four years, and after four years you feel like family. I look at the faces in this picture and think of all the laughter we shared.
The second reason I like it is that although I believe working hard, teaching the curriculum, and helping students master the material is important, I also know there have to be sometimes when they can be kids and just goof around.
The third reason I love it is the boy on the end, to the right was amazing, and always super serious. I only have two pictures of Alex smiling, and this day is one of them. If you notice the snow on the picnic table, I said to Alex, “Throw a snowball at Mr. Bradley!” (The headmaster) Alex replied, “This snow won’t make a snowball.” He said it with scorn and disbelief, so I turned, made a snowball, and threw it at the headmaster. Alex’s eyes got wide, and his whole face lit up as the snowball fight began.
There are so many faces in that photo tied to many memories that I am so thankful I had. Sometimes the best memories are when you take a break from the routine and enjoy the moment.