Monday, October 27, 2014

It's all about ART!

Social media has once again sent me a gift -- this time in the form of my fifth grade teacher, Art Drescher.  (aka, Mr. D.)  Now before you go jumping to the conclusion that this man has reached triple digits, realize that I was 10 turning 11 in fifth grade, and he was a second or third year teacher.  So while there seemed to be a HUGE age difference in 1971, the same logic does not apply today.  (This is not accounted for in Common Core, but I digress...)

Thanks to Mr. D's dedication as a teacher, he's kept in touch by attending high school reunions of his former students throughout the years, and is still a very present member of the Glenside community.  Recently, he assumed the gut-wrenching task of photographing the demolition of Glenside Weldon Elementary School, where he taught for decades.  He is an amazing photographer, and has the perfect name for his work.  (Works of Art, of course!)

A year or so ago we met for lunch.  He had the class picture in tow, and pointed to every student in the picture, identified them by name, and knew what had become of nearly all of us.  I left that lunch truly inspired by the "teacherness" of this guy, who had cared about his "kids" for forty something years!

A Blog-inspired Connection - Happening Tomorrow.

Several weeks ago I wrote about my experience doing headstone rubbings in a Connecticut cemetery.  Mr. D. reached out through a private message on facebook indicating that he had similar experiences with rubbings as a volunteer at the Vietnam Memorial Wall in DC.  Would I like for him to come and share his stories with my class?

I jumped at the suggestion.  I truly have no idea what the presentation will be like, but I know that his photography is amazing and he captivated me for an entire year in fifth grade -- and I only missed 1/2 day of school.  (See reportcard primary source evidenced here!) His stories were legendary then, and have only grown in number, I am sure.  He's bringing his slide projector, his slides, and many stories about his service.


So I will try not to rush, and try to to good work.  I still read a great deal, hang out with many librarians, and certainly campaign hard to keep libraries going strong.  Did Mr. D. inspire these traits?  Absolutely.  Who I was in fifth grade is pretty much who I am today.

And trusting one of the good guys to come into my classroom and share Stories from the Wall will, no doubt, contribute to my continued shaping as a learner and as an educator.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the insider update!