Sha-Ree’ Castlebury has taught first grade at Pat Henry Elementary in Lawton, Oklahoma, for the past five years. Students at the school have affectionately dubbed her “Miss Frizzle” because of the eclectic wardrobe choices she often wears to teach in, which she herself describes as “wackadoodle.” But this year, Castlebury used her unique fashion sense for an inspired class activity.
This upbeat first grade teacher purchased a plain white dress and had her students draw all over it to remember them by. She wore their creation on the last day of school, showing off just how much she values them and their artistic skills.
Castlebury told Huffington Post of her creation, “I fall in love with [my students] each year and I want them to know, feel and even see how much they are loved by me by wearing something they made instead of just putting [something] in my desk.”
She came up with the genius idea while sipping jasmine tea on the porch with her sister.
After purchasing the white dress and fabric pens, Castlebury took the lead by drawing grass on the bottom of her dress. This was for two reasons: to jumpstart her classes’ creative process and because she wanted the dress to have a little bit of scenery.
Castlebury took a few snaps of the dress and posted them to Facebook. It has since gone viral with almost 67,000 shares since she posted it on May 26.
“My first idea that is original!! This is all artwork courtesy of MY first grade class! Who am I wearing? ROOM 219??? Happy last day of school with my precious Picasso’s!”
This teacher has big plans for the dress: she’s going to wear it at their future fifth-grade graduation to show them how much they meant and still mean to her.
The activity was such a rousing success that Castlebury intends to incorporate it into the end-of-the-year ritual each year, collecting a myriad of dresses to be worn at future fifth grade graduation ceremonies.
“I want each year’s class to know how special they are,” she says.