Sunday, August 4, 2013

[Behind The Scenes] Adventures In Teaching

During the week when I'm not saving the universe or shooting a wedding, my disguise is that of a middle school substitute teacher who goes by Mr. Barron. Unless you're a student, by which I have seven different names, like: Mr. Benji, or Mr. Z, or Mr. Hipster, just to name a few. A lot of people think I'm crazy for teaching middle schoolers. It can be tough, but it's also a lot of fun. What I've discovered is that I really enjoy it and I want to be able to bring photography to kids who are trying to find creative outlets to express themselves. I've found a lack of such programs throughout the school districts for kids in middle school that I have decided to try and do something about it. As the regular school year was coming to a close, I started looking online for summer programs that I could get a photography program at. I got introduced to a great program for Morton Middle School kids through 21st Century running my own photography class.

The first week of the five week program was at UMass Dartmouth and was all about building relationships with the kids and learning how to be leaders. It was cool to see how many of them were excited for photography. The second week it was back to the middle school for the start of the several different programs. I was definitely a little nervous for my first class: I had substitute taught but this was different. It was my lesson plans, my classroom. 

The first week, I wanted them to get comfortable with the cameras and learn about basic composition. We also talked about the different types of photography.
It just so happened that the week we got back to the school there was a heat wave and since there's no air conditioning, it's safe to say we didn't spend much time in the classroom. I took them outside (with a slew of water in tow) and we jumped from shade spot to shade spot just taking pictures. I even did a little posing for them. 

Finally, it cooled off and things got more enjoyable. It was really awesome watching the kids visions take shape just from one week to the next. We took trips down to Battleship Cove and explored the places around the school.

They even did a little posing for me while we walked on our photo safari's

The last week of school is next week and each of the kids are going to be displaying one of their photographs for people to come and view. This summer program was definitely a fly by our seat, quick to improvise, whirlwind of excitement. I learned a lot (what not to do, what to do) But hearing from students that my class was their favorite made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It has now given me a sense of direction, a way I can give back and pass my love of photography and my craft onto the next generation. 

Here are some of the photos my students have shot and are going to be presenting in class this week, Im proud of them and hope they continue for years to come.