In our ongoing drive to provide a dynamic and student centered Middle School experience, we implemented Electives for students in the Middle School last year and they were so successful that we continued the program and enhanced it this year with even more choices for the students. This cycle, I am facilitating the Digital Photography elective and it has been a wonderful experience. Not only are the students eager to learn techniques and tips for good photography, but they are fully embracing their creative minds and learning to see the world in new and interesting ways.
In my experience, one of the very best aspects of Unity as a whole, but especially the Elective process, is the chance to help students to become fearless explorers who pursue their passions while gaining confidence and skill. When given the freedom to make their own choices, to value the process and not just the product, the creative floodgates open and what takes place is amazing.
The current group of Photographers have taken some amazing photos using perspective, lighting choices, action shots and portraiture. In addition, they decided to explore the creation of stop motion movies and the results have been fun, funny and very diverse! The excitement and enthusiasm on a student’s face when he or she catches “that shot” or races in to share their latest mini-movie is tangible and such a fantastic piece of what makes Unity Middle School such a special place.
In a world where testing and data collection can sometimes supersede the essential connection with students, I feel very privileged to be teaching Middle School at Unity, where Digital Photography is just one example of our unique way of connecting with and sharing the journey of learning with our students.