My mother-in-law recently sent me a link to a site milasdaydreams.blogspot.com
created by a stay-at-home mother in Finland. The mother, Adele Enerson, captures images of her baby daughter as she sleeps. The uniqueness in her work is that she uses an inexpensive camera (a Canon IXUS 750 that retails for about $350.00) and whatever she can find around herself to capture an idea-the idea of what her daughter’s dreams may hold. She resourcefully pulls in household items like blankets, books, and toys to design the stage and in literally minutes has implemented the idea and edited the piece. I examine her photographs and I think about the limited physical space and resources available to her in her apartment and what she is able to accomplish even with these limitations.
And then I think about classrooms and the limited amount of space and resources teachers have available to them. Sometimes the space is so limiting it doesn’t even allow for students to work in small groups. There is barely room for backpacks and bodies. The walls are constructed out of materials in which displays of student work refuse to hang from them. The teacher struggles to display timely content information because she can’t find an adhesive to hold the student-created posters or exemplary work samples. The resources in the room have been purchased with her share of the department pool (usually less than $200) and the markers, crayons, and sticky notes are running low because they are shared across six periods.
And then I think back to Adele Enerson. She creates an utterly different world from whatever she can find around her. I will hold this thought as I work within my own space and share this thought as I work with teachers in their spaces. To see how other teachers have creatively transformed their learning environments, view photographs collected from classrooms across the United States at http://contentliteracy.ning.com/photo .