Students reveal hidden aspects of themselves

Post date: Apr 01, 2016 10:40:5 AM

It become an interesting, introspective assignment not only for a group of fourth-grade students but their teachers at Wells Elementary School. It became a project to reveal hidden characteristics and yearnings to be someone not yet outwardly recognized as such by others.

In March, Multi 3-4 students of Beth Bush, Melissa Stapleton and Annie Brown were asked to describe their inner selves with a word or a phrase revealing some hidden characteristic that they may have; a characteristic that their friends and classmates, even parents may not yet know about or realize. These descriptions were written down and posted on a wall display near their classrooms, across from another colorful collage created by fourth graders in early January reflecting individual student wishes for the world in the new year of 2016.

“We made this wall to say what we think we are; in our opinion.” said fourth grader Kendall Maxon standing with some of her classmates next to the display titled in bold, black writing, “I AM.” “The wall is pretty much to say what we think of ourselves,” she added.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the display, like the earlier New Year’s one is that both consist of totally anonymous postings by design. “Any of these things up here,” said student Izzy Leslie pointing at the display, “you wouldn’t know who wrote them.”

Some examples of the postings include, I am, “an astronomer”, “destined for greatness”, “athletic”, “strong”, “full of perseverance”, “a person who will never give up”, an “animal saver”, a “nature lover”, “fierce”, a “Georgia peach”, “a leader”, and what turned out to be a favorite of students and teachers alike, “more than just a girl”.

Some statements seemed to reflect somewhat different, and unexpected, but nonetheless important characteristics, conditions perhaps the authors might not be comfortable with such as I am “a worrier”, “a speck in the crowd”, “left out” “a procrastinator” “crazy” “afraid of the dark”, and “tired all the time”.

“We wanted our students to express who they are, to celebrate how we are all different.” commented teacher Stapleton about the “I AM assignment inspired by a YouTube video involving similar age school children from another school in an language arts assignment to help break down stereotypes.

A display of student wishes for the world, created in January by fourth graders at Wells Elementary School. A lot of those wishes centered around the themes of ending war and peace on Earth. The globe on top of the display was created by Mirna Davila.