Art & story by Tim Smith 3
Submitted by Susan Bakst
For the past four years, Charter School Capital has held the Dewey Awards essay contest. The awards aim to highlight the outstanding impact charter school educators have on their students.
Selecting the three winners is a challenge – all of these stories are inspiring. While our panel chose three winning entries for 2020, we felt this entry needed to be shared.
Here’s Tim Smith 3’s story about William Jones, a math teacher and advisor at Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School.
Mr. William Jones, Real-Life Hero – by Tim Smith 3
Teachers don’t get the credit they deserve. That’s why today I’m celebrating my friend William Jones, who is a math teacher. And I’m drawing him the Marvel way.
My name is Tim Smith 3. I’m an artist and a storyteller. I also manage the Comics Department at Marvel. Today I’m drawing my friend William Jones, a brilliant math teacher and advisor, to recognize him as a brilliant teacher and a real hero.
Mr. Jones teaches at Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School. It takes skill, patience, and understanding to teach hundreds of kids daily. Mr. Jones does that, and more. Not only does he help teach math – an essential skill for every person on the planet – but he’s also an advisor to the kids, helping them understand complex algebraic equations and at the same time helping them cope with real-world problems.
The continuing struggle for equality and inclusion has hit an Apex lately with the Black Lives Matter movement. Mr. Jones has shown empathy and understanding on the highest level. He has been and continues to be a pillar of support for the kids he teaches.
COVID-19 has forever affected our lives. Kids need all the support they can get, and Mr. Jones has been there for them every step of the way.
I admire the way Mr. Jones keeps his cool under such extreme conditions. His power is his ability to shape the next world leaders with courage, wisdom, and confidence.
I can draw traditionally and digitally. For this piece, I chose to do it digitally. The computer has kept us all connected. It’s a digital age where online learning has helped continue the lessons teachers started before the pandemic. I thought it would be fitting to keep that idea going.
Mr. Jones is an inspiration to others, especially his students, and I wanted the look & feel of my drawing to show that. On his chest is the mathematical symbol, an upside-down A. It’s a universal qualifier that means “for all.” And I’m using bright colors – in his suit and even in the sky, to show hope as he looks towards the future with a smile.
Mr. Jones, you’re amazing. A part of me will forever be attached to every child you helped. Continue to be the hero you already are.