Smart Kids

By Cameron Zohoori

Over the course of the fall semester, I spent time in Ms. Smart's 2nd grade classroom at E.K. Powe Elementary School. I started the project with no plan in mind - I just shot pictures. However, over the course of documenting the comings and goings, the natural rhythm of the class, I began to appreciate the different personalities of its inhabitants, and the remarkable approach Ms. Smart takes to teaching them.

Ms. Smart believes in project-based learning - she guides her students through hands-on, multidisciplinary assignments that engage them and give them leadership roles, while incorporating all the skills second graders need to be learning. More importantly, these often service-based projects empower the children and make them realize that they are active members of society, even as young students.

My project, though, is ultimately about the kids themselves. In documenting the class, I found myself nostalgic for my own younger years, and genuinely excited by the kids' energy and personalities. I tried to capture this in my project, in showing the diversity of personalities that make up a classroom community, and the purity of emotion that the children experience. Hopefully I have documented something truthful about this time in their lives, and the transient community they have created together with Ms. Smart.