Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Put on a pair of heels, and stand taller.

Editorial Note:  There are two days left in my school year where students will dwell in my room for any period of time, followed by one day of professional development.  I'm still not sure how this has happened, as I just put my winter clothes away last weekend.  I'm already mildly panicking about the content of this blog for the next three months, without the benefit of inspiration from my students, so it should be noted now that, as much as I'd love to wax on and on about the variety of projects presented today, I am saving some stories (and photos) to feature during the lazy, hazy, crazy, days of summer.

Meanwhile, today was the last day of TDO presentations, and the only way to describe the day and the experience is MAGICAL.  Yes, I teared up.  Yes, I gulped to hold myself together.  And the rest of the time I was wishing and hoping that an administrator would walk in, sit down, and be blown away by the diversity, depth, and ingenuity in the presentations.

Think Pink!

Yes, it sounds like a campaign for cancer awareness.  Yes, it caused me to wonder.  While I've known what Ellen was working on all semester, I can safely say that every student in the room was drawn in to the presentation.  A lover of art, motivational quotes, and big fan of new books and pens and inks that spark creativity, her goal was to explore different types of lettering, motivated by a book she found at a local craft store.

She outlined her steps for what evolved from a "I think I'll try some fancy lettering lessons" to a business.


Without elaborating on the many obstacles, let's suffice it to say that Ellen's Habits of Mind were evident and flowing in both her project and her presentation.  Persistence, Thinking Flexibly, Metacognition, Striving for Accuracy, Questioning and Posing Problems,  the list goes on an on.
And then stops, at my favorite habit, FINDING HUMOR.

Honestly, what would you do if you were a freshman in high school, who thrives on perfection, expecting your ever-growing project to grow at the rate imagined in your mind, only to find yourself fighting with Photoshop and printers, refusing to produce the perfection in your brain?

Ellen's solution when she is knocked down and feeling low?  Put on heels - the higher the better - and stand back up.  (Albeit a little bit taller) and face the problem head on.

Hope Lettering is real.  It's a company with a vision, and a mission.  To fund missions trips for her friend, Genesis.  The business is fledgling, but it already has a hashtag = #hopelettering   (Let's make it trend!)

Oh, and by the end of her presentation today, there were suggestions flowing, as Rheeana, president of Future Business Leaders of America, t jumped up and outlined the beginning steps for an official business plan to make Hope Lettering an official reality, volunteering to share her expertise.

I say official, only because Hope Lettering started in the mind of a young girl in room C108 during the winter and spring of 2015, with plans to fund a missions trip for her friend.  Her fascination evolved into passion, which evolved into purpose, and a focus on an authentic audience.  It's exciting, it's amazing, and it makes me proud and feel privileged that I can work with these kids every day.

Someday very soon, I will shamelessly plug the etsy site of this young woman, knowing that while she didn't hit her $4500 goal this year, there are many more missions to be completed in this world, and I have no doubt that her vision for Hope will offer much to this world.

Oh, and we all received samples from the Founder and CEO of Hope Lettering, reminding us that perfectionism shouldn't rule our lives.  It's a common theme in the presentations these days, and today there was universal acceptance that perfectionism is no longer a trait that stops anyone in their tracks.

Instead, perfectionism is used to balance in those high heels that you've put on that help you stand a little taller when you go back to challenge what knocked you down in the first place.

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