Saturday, December 10, 2016

Our Lives in Pictures

I Have a Challenge.....Do You Accept?

Dear Readers,

Faculty & Staff Ornaments

Every day I walk by the main office and see a tree standing in the corner. The ornaments are no ordinary ornaments, they each contain a picture of the Pal-Mac Middle School faculty and staff. I finally stopped to look for myself and was laughing because I had worn my hair down and that took up most of the picture. I made the comment, "Look at the hair!"

This led into a discussion with our building secretary about curly hair. Her grandson has curly hair and she always tells me how much she loves it and they were afraid when he had his first hair cut it might not stay curly. Fortunately it has. She was asking me about my hair and telling me how much she loves it. I said it has always been super curly and I would try and find some baby pictures.

Pictures of My Life

As I reflected on this conversation, I thought it would be fun to post them side by side. I have always thought my "general appearance" has stayed the same. My curly hair has always been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. It is how people recognize me and remember me. 

                                                           (approx. 6 months?)     (approx. 2 years?)

                                           (September 2016)      (November 2016)

I have learned to love it as I have gotten older, however I did not always feel this way. It seems like my entire life the "status quo" has been to have straight or wavy hair. When I was younger I had difficulty finding dolls with brown, curly hair and freckles. A friend of the family actually made me my own doll with curly brown pigtails and freckles to look like me. My curls are no ordinary curls, they are like "corkscrews", especially the longer it gets.

Curly Hair Complications

When everyone had straight hair, I didn't fit in. Then when everyone was perming their hair, I didn't fit in because my curly was different. While it was suggested that I chemically straighten it, I refused. 

I do not know what it's like to "brush" my hair or deal with static electricity. I can "trim" my hair and if I mess up nobody knows because it's hidden. I go through conditioner and hair creams like people change their socks. I wash my hair once a week and it never looks greasy or flat. I can accessorize it with as many bobby pins, scarfs, headbands, flowers and clips as I want. My curly hair fits my fun, quirky and positive personality perfectly. 

My Curly Journey with Students

Over the past few years, I have been an advocate to my students for curly hair, as odd as that may sound. I have had "curly hair days" where everyone with curly hair is encouraged to wear it natural. I have even shown the Dove commercials about loving our curly hair to boys and girls. Amazingly, the discussions we had afterward, the males joined in as well!

I always encourage students to love who they are and what makes them THEM. I have always had a slightly eclectic style and now sport a purple highlight that has become part of me as well. In a world where people try so hard to be like everyone else, I want to be Teresa. I want to model for students that I love who I am, am comfortable with who I am and do not need to fit into anyone's expectations.

How Do You Make Your Hair Curly?

I have been asked many times HOW I get my curly hair. I simply say, I wash it! I have been asked if I curl it every day or if it is "real". Another odd thing is sometimes people like to touch it. Especially young children. When I worked in daycare, they used to pull the curls and watch them spring back. It was hilarious.

                       (Summer 2015)           (Summer 2016)              (Fall 2016)

I am honest with my students that I have not always embraced it. In fact I hated it during middle/high school and into collage. 


Students love to see pictures and hear our stories. It helps us build relationships and make meaningful connections. 

After posting the pictures on twitter this morning as fun, @missdaisyICS  (Daisy Woods) encouraged me to turn it into a challenge! Hence, this blog was born!

I challenge you to reflect on your life in pictures. What is your story? How have you changed or not changed? What experiences are evoked from looking at your photos? 

How can you use these stories and photos in the classroom to build relationships and make meaningful connections?

Please share your pictures and stories! I would love to hear them, as would so many others.