A reflection on a photograph from Shalom Primary School, Rachel Blum

5B Dreams LTP project Shalom Primary School
Coming into a project there are always expectations and with expectations come both disappointment and then the moments that surpass any preconceived emotions. The photo above defined one of those moments—when a project comes together in a way that makes you feel exhilarated knowing that you have successfully communicated your ideas and goals to at least one student. The day before, we (Kaitlin, Eshter, Andrew and I) had walked into class 5B and found that our presence meant shuffling schedules and disturbing exams. We felt that we were becoming an inconvenience to the school due to a lack of communication with administration and faculty—something that often occurs as a result of differences in culture and language.

As we began the LTP process with these students, they wrote about their dreams for thirty minutes with full concentration and continual movement of their pens. It was not until we told them to wrap up their stories that any of them took their eyes off their paper. However this lengthened writing period left little time for sketching and planning their photos. We left them to think on their own and encouraged them to bring anything with them the next day to include in their photos. We hoped they would take advantage of the extra time but worried the project would leave their minds as we walked out the door. We expected to need to re-plan the next day and have discussions to get their minds back into LTP mode. But when the first student raised her hand and asked if she could retrieve the kangas she had brought from home and the sketch she had finished the night before, I knew this was not the case. Not only did she take the time to finish the planning but went as far as constructing the image or photograph in a way that perfectly reflected her sketch. A mistake with communication and scheduling led to results and a finished project that surpassed all of our expectations.

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