Victoria Mara Heilweil: No Child Left Behind

Exhibition opening: September 14th, 6-8pm
Exhibition on view: September 14th - October 14th, 2016

 Victoria Heilweil

Victoria Heilweil

This series is a very personal project for me.  For the past 20 years I have been an educator and currently have a child in a San Francisco public school.  I had become angry, frustrated and incredulous at how teachers are portrayed in the media, and that they are blamed and vilified for our mounting issues in education.  My first hand experience of being asked to do mindless, time consuming assessments for no extra pay as a college instructor, and shock at how little funds my daughters classroomwas given for yearly supplies, motivated me to start photographing. 

San Francisco is facing a substantial teacher shortage.  A few months ago the Sunday Chronicle featured a cover story about how teachers are being priced out of the Bay Area, and that nearly all other districts pay more than our city.  Yet, all the educators I met were sincere and incredibly committed to their students in spite of all of this. They really embody the idea of “No Child Left Behind”, unwilling to let kids slip through the cracks and fighting for them to succeed. They love their jobs, and are inspiring.

 My series celebrates K-12 educators, showing them with compassion and grace in order to pay respect to the selfless people that do such an important and overlooked job.  No Child Left Behind is my love letter to teachers, my heroes.