Picture Day is always one of the most interesting days of the school year! It’s a day when memories will be made, captured, and shared for years to come. It is also a day when the school community can get even greater information about the true character of students. I teach at a Catholic elementary school where there is a dress code. The dress code is a simple one of a polo shirt, khaki pants for boys and khaki pants or skirt for the girls. So Picture Day is truly a day where students can express who they are!
Today is Picture Day at my school. Students are coming into class with so many different styles. Some are styles that I would never have expected, which is absolutely great. Students need to have ways to express themselves more. They need to express who they are through their clothing (on acceptable days at my school), in their classrooms, and in the way they show their learning. The most important part of having students express themselves is that they feel comfortable enough to do so. Teachers need to develop a culture within their classrooms where students feel welcome and encouraged to share their learning a way that expresses who they are.
While the chaos of having to go get pictures taken usually interferes with the school day, it is well worth it. Students are excited with how they dressed and they are excited to capture that moment of the school year. It’s a memory! It’s a moment that they want to remember and have last in a yearbook. It’s about them!
As an educator, I need to remember that each moment that I have in a classroom can become a lasting memory for one of my students. It’s a moment that they may cherish, even if it isn’t captured in a picture. The picture/video that they have recorded in their memory may be even greater than the one captured by a photographer. I need to provide them with the best opportunity to capture as many life-long memories as possible.
While styles change (both in clothing and in teaching), the moments of Picture Day don’t change. It’s the moments, the outfits, the laughter, the smiles that make this day worth it! I don’t mind the chaotic schedules and the mystery of when my class will be called down if it means a memory will be captured. All that matters is seeing each student ready to “Say Cheese!” SMILE!