Dear 4th grade teacher,
Remember when I came to you, back in December, and asked you about the wall in your pods’ hallway with the empty cork strips? Remember when I asked you if the 4th grade team had any plans for them? And do you remember telling me that no, there were no plans because that space is usually left open for artwork? And remember how you excitedly invited me to hang up artwork? I was thrilled to have some display space, do you remember? My four sections of 4th grade students were working very hard on these beautiful drawings that I couldn’t wait to put on display. I knew space was limited, so I made sure to select pieces of work from each 4th grade class, this way, each group was represented fairly (truth be told, it was first-to-finish, first-to-be-displayed). I stayed late one night so I could get the work hung up before winter break. Everyone loved it. The principal came by my room and raved about the work. She even called it frameable. It really brightened up the hallway, a hallway that had previously been bare for three whole months.
Now, imagine my shock when I arrived at school this morning and discovered every single one of the drawings gone. And in their place, I found a few illustrated writing pieces. As a side note, let me say, kudos to you for making an effort to display your students’ work. I think it’s great to show off the hard work and effort that went into the pieces. But, the thing is, don’t you think you could have checked with me before you took down the drawings? I would have been more than happy to have cleared the space for you (although, I’m not sure why it was necessary to remove all 30 pieces of work I had on display for the three overflow writing pieces that didn’t fit on the other wall where the rest of the essays were displayed. Seems to me you could have just taped those three up next to the rest, but what do I know, you know?). More importantly though, don’t you think you should have checked with me before you made the decision to send them all home?
I suppose I shouldn’t blame you. I mean, how did you know they hadn’t been graded yet? And how would you have known that I wanted to keep some of the pieces for the art show? I mean, it’s not like we discussed it or anything, right? And yeah, I suppose I should have graded them before I displayed them, but the thing is, I’m only at your school two days a week, and with all the snow days and two-hour delays we’ve been having, those two days quickly turn in to a half day. As in, lately, I’ve been at your school for five hours a week. Shame on me for not getting them graded sooner. I should have known better.
On second thought, the drawings were on display for an entire month, so I guess it was time to change it up, although with the two week winter break, you could argue that they weren’t even seen during that time, so it doesn’t really count… but, I don’t know if you noticed the pumpkin patch paintings and fall trees the other art teacher has on display downstairs? No one’s taken those down yet. Not to mention the self-portraits that have been on display since September. But, yeah, clearly my 4th graders’ drawings needed to come down. And like your colleague mentioned when I approached you about the missing work, I’m sure the students still have them at home.
So, you know what? No biggie. In fact, than you for saving me the time it would have taken to remove the work myself. Not to mention the time it would have taken me to grade them. I really owe you one.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the results of The Art of Education’s annual Art Ed Blog of the Year contest were announced last weekend. Thank you to everyone who voted. Art Teachers Hate Glitter came in second place in the Wild Card category! Without your support, I may have given up this endeavor long ago. Thank you.