In Review

Student Reflections

The passages below are reflections written by pre-service teachers who have participated in aesthetic based community forums that are presented in the book seeds.

Overall this experience has not only taught me a lot about becoming a teacher, but it taught me a lot about myself. Art and creativity brings a lot out within the soul of teachers, children, and their surroundings. My one fear of becoming a teacher was that I would not have been able to stand in front of a class and teach a lesson. From this experience I have the courage to get up in front of anyone and speak. This taught me when I become a teacher I need to dig deeper to actually get to know my students. I don’t just a teacher / student relationship where they come in and I teach and they leave. From how Dr. Clark and Dr. French are with their students inspired me. Their class is not all about the grade, but all about the student and helping them succeed.

Through this project I have had the opportunity to learn about 14 special, talented and unique individuals. However, I have also had the opportunity to learn about myself as an individual and as a future teacher. I now understand that what happens outside of the home greatly impacts what happens inside of school. I cannot pretend that school is an imaginary bubble, unaffected by the outside world because I am too naïve to realize the obstacles and setbacks that the youth of our country face. If I as a teacher choose only to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic my students and I will not be successful. If I walk into a classroom with biases and prejudices I am not only failing the children, I am failing myself. As a teacher I need to step outside of myself and everything that I have known and experienced. I then need to take a step into the lives of the children who I am teaching. Despite what many people know and believe, achievement is not only measurable by grades and statistics. True and authentic success is a combination of the relationships, trust, compassion, respect, social and academic progress and triumphs that you and your students achieve together.

By working with the Gaffney school children, and the unmasking project it opened my eyes on myself as a teacher. I’ve learned that when I become a teacher, it is more than just standing in front of my classroom and teaching math, history and science. To be a teacher you have to be able to let children unveil their mask. I’ve learned that each child has a story. Whether their story is good or bad, happy or sad, each one has a story. It may take a while for the student to take off their mask, and show their true emotions. In order for the student to do so, they need to feel comfortable in their school environment. That is where by job as a teacher comes in, if my classroom is not a warm, welcoming place, where students enjoy coming into everyday then I am not doing my job as a teacher.

This course also taught me a lot about myself. I tend to be the shy student in the back of the class with all of the answers. I never thought in a million years that I would be on stage, directing young children dance moves in front of hundreds of people. To me, public speaking and public acting was something I wrote out of my book. The only place I was comfortable speaking in was a classroom, where others would listen and respect what I would have to say via presentation. However, this course has allowed me to open up to other students and let them get to know me. In short, I have always been wearing a mask and just didn’t know it, and that’s what this     program is about, Everyone need guidance; some more than others.


 Gaffney Students Reflect:

The following reflections are  reactions by some of the students at Gaffney Elementary School after participating in Creating a Compassionate Community to End Homelessness.

“Whatever thing you want to be when you grow up can come true! Don’t let your dreams go – always keep following your dreams and never give up – that’s what I promise.

“I think the world would be a better place by stopping the bullies and giving a smile to everyone each day.”


“I got 3 words. 1. Love 2. Peace 3. Together


I pledge to thee that to my fellow citizens that when their feeling down I will give them a helping hand.”

“I promise to be a leader and not a follower. I promise to not judge people. I promise to be kind to other people. I promise to make peace for my school. I promise to care for other people. I promise to share. I promise to breath in and out when I get



Barbara Clark Joss French