Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Many Faces of Mr. D

Three years ago, I was starting over at a new school (something I've done a lot of in my short career) and looking to try out some ideas that had been bouncing around in my head. I wanted to make sure to give my students a reason to come to class and be happy and engaged while there. One idea was to hold a weekly contest that was almost completely unrelated to algebra. That's not to say it couldn't be academic, but it was meant to be something to break out of the normal routine and challenge students' conception of what math class was supposed to be.

One of the first contests I ran was called "Draw Mr. D". I asked my students (who at that point didn't really know me yet) to draw a picture of me, encouraging them to be creative and funny. I believe I told them that I knew at some point they would do this anyway (as we all do), so we might as well have some fun with it together. I also revisited the contest later in the year to see if their depictions might have changed.

Needless to say, the results were fascinating. Without any further ado, here are The Many Faces of Mr. D:

You can also view the slideshow directly here.

I'm in the middle of a huge project to digitize all of my paper records, including everything I've collected over the years from the classroom. I can't wait to share all of the funny, traumatic, absurd and life-affirming treasures I find. Stay tuned!