Charged with an enrichment project as a first year teacher in which students were expected to become “experts” in a given subject, I turned to one of my greatest passions – photography.
My students creatively photographed their experiences as members of their ethnic culture as well as members of their community. As we printed their magnificent and inspirational photographs and began to ponder the best way to display them, a colleague came in to have a look. She was looking at one of our possible layouts and remarked, “This is just like a mosaic.”
And it was. Apart, each picture stood up as a testament to the photographer’s hard work and a certain beauty. Together, though, they formed a mosaic of who we were – as photographers, as a diverse group, and as inhabitants of the neighborhood. I loved the term from the start, and it stuck. Today, The Mosaic Project has evolved into its third year, as a new wave of students aims to find ways to capture images that convey their perception of their neighborhood.
Professionally, my experience with The Mosaic Project has been wonderful, and I count it as one of the highlights of my young career. The reception we have received has been overwhelming.
It provides the students an opportunity that, since they come from high-poverty homes, they might not otherwise have. I am proud to be able to facilitate this for them.
You may view students’ works on our Flickr page, which is here.
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