Poetry on perspectives at Kemper luncheon

November 4, 2011

By Tim Belter ’13

Teacher Education professor Dr. Heljä Antola Crowe led the Kemper Teaching Academy luncheon as they learned about and discussed perspectives last week.

Dr. Antola Crowe opened the meeting with a poem she composed that introduced the different schools in the Kemper Academy and celebrated their cooperation. The partnerships between “magical” Manual Academy, “rambunctious” Roosevelt Magnet School, “vivacious” Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center, “willing” Whittier Primary School, “stunning” St. Mark and “bountiful” Bradley help create “organization, exploration, collaboration and participation,” she said.

Education and Health Sciences Dean Dr. Joan Sattler then spoke briefly, remarking on how “these meetings feel like celebrations.”

“This is such an enjoyable project, and I think we’ve all learned a lot from it,” she said.

Next, Dr. Antola Crowe led the group in an exercise about perspectives. Each person drew a picture of the table’s centerpiece, then went around and compared their drawings to those of the people sitting around them. Each image contained something different that could only be seen from that particular person’s perspective, such as a textbook or a pumpkin.

“If we’re not aware of these different perspectives, something might be totally invisible to us,” said Dr. Antola Crowe.

After the exercise, representatives from the school shared their views on the Kemper project and the educational experience in general. They told their stories from their specific perspectives, including principals, student teachers, college professors and teachers. One young girl from Roosevelt also spoke from her viewpoint as a middle school student.

Ann Bond, principal of Valeska Hinton, spoke of the importance of working with other people.

“No matter what education or experiences we have, the things that shape us the most are our relationships,” she said.

 “I’m one of a team, not an island,” agreed Lisa Balek, a teacher at Roosevelt. “It is my job to be a teacher, but it is also my job to be a leader.”

When the school representatives finished, Dr. Antola Crowe closed the meeting.

“Our own perspectives and others’ perspectives can teach us about ourselves,” she said, “maybe even revealing a hidden pumpkin we didn’t know we had.”