You see, the Scholastic Awards are unlike other programs out there. They are not a place where everyone gets a ribbon for just showing up. They are a competition where student work goes through a process of a blind jury and awarded based on skill, voice, and originality. The program also carries with it the prestige of past winners who have gone on to be movers and shakers in the industry (like Truman Capote (1932), Richard Avedon (1941), Andy Warhol (ca. 1945), Sylvia Plath (1947), Robert Redford (1954) and Zac Posen (1998)).
So, it is kind of a big deal.
I have submitted student work for the past 7 years and have been fortunate enough to spend each Friday before break sharing the exciting news of the selections with them. I feel like this year, though, I also have to include my PLN in the mix. Without their help, some of these entries would not have been possible. They helped push me as a teacher and spur ideas that inspired my students to go beyond the usual solutions and allow them to shine with award winning pieces.
From Katherine Douglas' encouragement to put choice at the center of curriculum, the wacky and wonderful Photoshop ideas from the creative mind of Ian Sands, the captivating ways Tricia Fuglestad gets her kids to collaborate and tell stories with new media, to the traditional methods with a twist from Colleen Rose, there are countless ways these educators and many others through Facebook and Twitter have pushed me to push my students in new directions which has yielded award-winning results.
I want to thank them for their help as I celebrate the winners from BCWMS. I hope they share in the success as much as we do when they look at the work below and find their influence: