Shine your light! You never know who it might inspire…

It should come as no surprise that I loved anything to do with the arts in elementary school.  In Grade 5 I had the most inspiring visual arts teacher named Mrs. Amy Ha from Timberbank Public School in the TDSB.  I remember her so clearly!  She was patient, calm, and a gifted artist.  Naturally, I wanted to be just like her and started my own creative studio called “Art School” within my basement.  My younger brother became my first student, even though the attendance had at least twenty others on it!  I was quite fortunate that my parents supported my "school" and purchased me a chalk board, fine art supplies, and mounted chart paper for my art demonstrations, taught in the style of Mrs. Ha.  

My "art school" was the place to be, and many of my childhood friends would come over to visit and be creative for hours.  One friend in particular (Anna Tsoulogiannis) loved it so much that she made her own art room in her basement!  Years later the two of us found ourselves embracing the arts as part of our everyday work.  I, as you all know, try my best to infuse the arts into everything that I teach.  Anna on the other hand, is a talented photographer and lifestyle blogger known by many as Annawithlove.  Her Instagram account has impressively exceeded 17K followers!  I am BEYOND PROUD of her!  Her work is absolutely stunning! 

When our kindergarten students requested that I bring in a real photographer for our “wedding day” - yes we had a wedding day in our classroom and it was completely their idea - I instantly thought of Anna Tsoulogiannis!  I explained to them that Anna and I grew up together and went to the same church and Greek school.  They were very excited to meet my old friend!

Here are some of my favourite photos from our Wedding Day that took place on March 20th:

Anna also put together a very special slideshow for our class which includes the children who were interested/had permission to take part in the wedding:

Thank you to Annawithlove for capturing this special day for us!  Your creativity never ceases to amazing me...  Check out her blog post today that features our time together for the rest of this story!  

Creativity is contagious
Pass it on!

Share your thoughts :

  1. Love it! It is so wonderful that you share so many of the wonderful things that you do with the children!

  2. These photos are stunning! I love the thought that the children and you put into this inquiry- you can see how engaged they are (no pun intended- haha). Thanks for sharing!

    Tracey Pouliot.

  3. Hi Joanne,
    We have been loving your blog as we transform our FDK space of four years. We started in late spring and were amazed at the focus, calm engagement of our kids. We now would like to transform our letter/sound instruction. Our board has a worksheet based program that we would like to move away from. We are hoping to have something more relevant and meaningful to the kids, and also differentiate for those who need more/less support. How do you teach letters and sounds? Thanks so much!

  4. Hi Joanne. Looks like an interesting inquiry! Keeping in mind that the pictures and description posted only give us a small peek into the entire project, I'd love to hear you share a bit more about how an equity lens did (or did not) play into this learning opportunity. The books/magazines shown seem to purely represent weddings from a heterosexual, caucasian, North American perspective. Were examples given to ensure adequate representation of wedding traditions from different cultures, religions and sexual orientations (perhaps ones the students themselves may know/be part of)? Looking forward to hearing more about this project!