Friday, January 16, 2009

The Wall

This afternoon during sixth period, Paul Pollard, our WCS Development and Technology guru, came in and took a number of photographs for the daily feature on our school website, Picture Of The Day. Ths shot he ended up using was eighth graders Autumn Arnold and Joseph Nguyen as we finished a class period focused on the Beatitudes. Paul's primary reason for the involvement of my class was the background of the shot, our mural on the Life Of Christ that covers one wall. It is 90% completed and has added a wonderful dimension to Room 258. Paul requested some thoughts from my sophomores on the impact of the mural in their studies. Here is what they wrote:Amberly Kopas: “The mural on the wall really helps me to appreciate and know the struggles and turmoil Jesus went through.”
Gerran Harris: “The mural helps me realize all the important events that Jesus went through and it gives me peace when I’m in the classroom.”
Patrick Plant: “The mural illustrating the life of Jesus makes me realize how Jesus cannot be portrayed in only one picture. Jesus’ life is so important that not only the mural can describe it. Nothing physical can compare to the life of Jesus.”

The following is the entry I penned as we began the journey of the mural. It was written on March 20, 2006. Below the story is the link to this afternoon's Picture Of The Day, taken by Paul Pollard.
The idea was planted about ten years ago. Like most thoughts in education, it is borrowed. In the mid-1990's, I went to a Christian school in-service in Nashville at Ezell-Harding. After the general meetings, we had specific subject sessions. My area choice was the Bible department, even though most of my teaching load was still in social science. I only remember one thing from but it was a big one for me. The Bible teachers at Ezell-Harding, Joey Spann and Mike McPherson, had transformed the wall of their classroom into a Biblical timeline. The design and painting were all student driven. I was fascinated, not so much with the artistic quality of the work but with the concept itself. The idea has bounced around in my mind for years.
Last Spring, we hosted a prospective student open house at Westbury Christian School. Our classrooms would be toured so I drafted my artistic students into creating a mural, based on the life of Moses. The drawings, in chalk and marker, were sketched on long rolls of paper and stapled above my dry-erase board. The response was so favorable I decided the time was right to turn the wall in Room 258 into the Sistine Chapel. Working with Karen Keese, our art instructor, I came up with a plan. Karen chose five gifted students as the budding DaVincis. At the beginning of this school year, we made a trip to Lanier Middle School in downtown Houston to view their hall length mural, based on medieval literature. Karen took pictures and the kids gained a vision of what we wanted. As often happens in school, urgency is the rule of the day. Contests, competitions, and projects rightfully took precedence over decorating my wall. But today, we got started! Five students- Meg, Gina, Boss, Alyssa, and Joseph- will draw the mural in pencil and then begin applying brush and paint. The mural will be at the front of the room where the chalkboard used to reside. Each student is assigned a section and scene from the life of Jesus, which will be tied together into one flowing form. All we have now are pencil outlines. What will it look like in May? I have no idea but I'm excited. I am excited for my students to see the unfolding of the Christ-saga as seen through the eyes of their peers. I am excited for parents considering WCS to see what our gifted kids are capable of. I am excited for the Alternative Certification Training candidates who use my classroom to see the influence of the Lord in a Christian school atmosphere. Mostly, I am excited for ME! I have to admit I'm selfish in this area. I love my classroom; it's my second home. Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 2:9, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." That's what I am fired up about. I can't see it, hear it, or conceive it but I KNOW it's going to be terrific! I can't say I understand the thrill of becoming a father but this will have to do for now. There won't be a sonogram but I will keep you posted!
Applicable quote of the day:"The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection."Michelangelo
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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