Thumbnail sketches help me remember.
Capturing posture, physical distance, standing, sitting--basic concepts that my words overlook--does something for me. I remember the adolescent in that moment better.
I add color later, but when I do it is a bit of a processing exercise. I replay what I saw and heard, and the simple act of adding the color of a shirt or the color of a student's hair brings the moment to life again for me.
I feel like I learn about the relationships in the classroom. I learn a little more about collaboration, how thinking evolves, and myself as a teacher. Clearly, I am removed, out of the action. I am an observer, a listener, a learner. And for me, drawing is thinking as much as taking notes with alphabetic text may be.
Months after the fact, I find that I can flip through my journal and be pulled back into any of the sketches, unpredictable, without rhyme or reason, and I have new questions for the students depicted by my pencil.