Saturday, June 12, 2010

Number 12

Capture a picture worth a thousand words...

When I first thought up this idea, I imagined that I would go on some nature walk and take some overly artsy picture of a flower or landscape and say it was worth a thousand words. My thought process slowly evolved, however, as I considered it more and more.

My first change I decided was that the word "capture" did not necessarily mean that I myself had to take the picture. I would rather set up a scenario and be able to be a part of it.

I was sitting at work one day...

Ok, let me back up. I work at Building Hope Community Life Center. I am a Project HEART member which means I am required to work 900 hours over the course of a year. I got placed at Building Hope because my church works with the program. Back in August, I started my year. I was placed in a classroom as the 4th grade teacher.

Latifah!!! She is HILARIOUS!

Demarcus and Jalen swinging

Jalen showing his love for me...can't you tell?

Now that you have some background information and a few visuals, I will continue.

I was sitting at work one day and I was talking to my kids about my blog. They were eating up every little detail I told them and made me describe a few of my tasks (I had just finished ghost hunting so of course they wanted to hear all about it...they were basically terrified by the end). As I was telling them about it, they were so quiet and fascinated by everything I was saying.

That night I went home and just couldn't stop thinking about my kids. I knew that I wanted to be able to include them in my blog somehow because they all have been such a huge part of my life this year. It then hit me that I would use them as my "picture worth a thousand words." It wouldn't be artsy or nature-y but somehow it meant so much more.

I sent home permission slips with my kids. I decided I shouldn't just put up random pictures of kids on the internet without parental consent. Low and behold, three kids brought them back signed. I have eight kids in my classroom so having three fourth graders remember was pretty good...I guess?

I was kind of upset that I wouldn't be able to do a shot featuring all the class but it would be fine.

Finally, we set the day and I had a fellow staff member snap some pictures.

I know it is not a perfect picture and many people may not think it is worth a thousand words, but to me it is worth so much more than that. These are the greatest kids in the world. I love them so much and would literally do anything for them.

To me the thousand words represent a thousand laughs, a thousand math problems, a thousand snack times, a thousand races, a thousand hugs, a thousand conversations, a thousand play times, and almost a thousand hours spent together.

Last Tuesday I had to say goodbye to my kids. It was possibly one of the hardest days of my life. They have accomplished so much and proud doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. I know that they will accomplish incredible things in their lives and I hope to be able to experience it.

I am not doing Project HEART (even though my kids begged) next year. I plan to stop in frequently though to see my kids.

As I was leaving Building Hope that Tuesday I kind of laughed to myself about the year.

I was sooo sad and I had a very Sandra Bullock-esque feeling come over me from The Blind Side. People always tell me that I am changing kid's lives but it kind of hit me that day as I left that they really did change mine.

Here is my picture worth a thousand words. I hope it can mean as much to you as it does me.


  1. brought to tears and left with a warm oozy goozy feeling in my heart.


  2. This is my favorite by far! You know I totally understand! Awesome job friend! :)

  3. You're amazing and so is your blog.

    Will you marry me?

  4. Aww I love this one!! Very good job James! You really are making a difference in kid's lives, and I can't wait to work with you this summer!