Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Impromptu Lesson

The day the lights went out in my school I was lucky enough that it was during my prep period.  Since the school I work at has very few rooms with windows, the classrooms were lighted with nothing but flashlights, which for the photographer in me meant long exposure times.  I went to this classroom and took this picture, every student was moving so it came out blurry.  The class wanted a good picture, so I told them they would have to sit motionless for the 25 seconds the shutter would be open.  Most of them did, a few purposely moved their heads to see what would happen.  After a grueling 25 seconds I started showing the picture around the room and asked the class if anyone had any idea why in the pictures from the early 1900’s nobody ever smiled.  When I told them that back then people would have to sit perfectly still for several minutes, immediately there were comments about how hard it was to stand still for just 25 seconds.  By the end of the conversation, most of them had a lot more sympathy for their ancestors in those old pictures around the house.

6 comments:

Karen S. said...

So when the lights go out in your classroom do you do something special or carry on as usual.....? Knowing that their concentration level will be on anything but work of course....picture taking and making them think about sitting so very still as in the olden days was very cool!

Max said...

When there were windows and enough light to see, I would still go on with the lesson. Unfortunately the school I'm in now is windowless, very few rooms have them, and with one flashlight per room, it's not possible to continue with the lesson, so we have to come up with something creative. Luckily I always have my camera on me.

A Paperback Writer said...

I've always had at least tiny windows in my room, so usually class goes on during a power failure. Max, since I'm an English teacher, in a room like yours without power, I'd probably resort to discussing ghost stories.....

Karen S. said...

Oh I would hate no windows. I once worked in an office building where only the managers had windows in their offices. In the wintertime you'd come to work in the dark and leave for home in the dark....those days were the most dreariest days of my life! I love daylight too much I guess!

Jeff said...

I have a couple of windows in the back corner of my classroom, but they face a brick wall. Thinking back, my elementary school had huge windows that spanned one entire wall. Man, what I'd give for that now.

Max said...

Right now, I'd give anything for your two windows looking out at a brick wall, better than nothing. But I know what you mean, most of the schools I taught in had one wall that was all windows, loved to be able to watch the seasons go by.