I work as a teacher and at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year I began to draw in response to my experiences in the classroom. I would sketch thumbnails in the margins of notebooks or on the back of extra handouts in the minutes I had between teaching, preparing for upcoming classes, and meetings with students. Later, during longer stretches of uninterrupted time, I would develop the collected sketches into more precise, refined images. As the images accumulated, I began to read them for access to teaching-related ideas I wasn’t able to surface using words. 

I draw to think through, capture, still, and make visible aspects of the relations I notice and experience inside the teaching contexts I lead. The drawings I make operate as organic, open-ended models of educational relations and expressions of educational concepts. I think of them as keyless, unstandardized diagrams of the ways in which the variety of forces at work in educational contexts meet, unfold, and interact. A group of dots connected in a variety of unique ways connects to the multiple pathways through which a group of people come to engage with the same content, a single line traced several times underscores the impossibility of exact replication. The scribble, a mark sometimes referred to as nothing, is repeated and builds into an emphatic something.

While current education policy in the United States prioritizes representations of teaching and learning anchored in a narrow vein of discrete, measurable, high-stakes performances, the inevitably complex nature of both individuals and the relations at the heart of the teaching and learning process forms the true foundation of education. 

This ongoing project consists of 155 mixed media drawings. Selected images from this project will be part of a book I am working on that uses writing and drawings to examine mystery and the unknown as they pertain to teaching. The book is under contract with Information Age Publishing and will be available in late 2017.