I’ve got to admit, I think I’m weird. My students will probably tell you that’s true on many levels. You’ll probably agree with them when I tell you that I really don’t enjoy summer break that much. In fact, I kind of dread the last few weeks of school. The lack of routine and the bittersweet transition of from old to new students is a bit much for this guy.
It’s kind of ridiculous that our beloved buildings are lifeless for months in the summer. Sure, the building might get a facelift, a little more organization here, some planning there, but without the students, it’s a little lifeless. This got me thinking about how to breathe a bit more life into the hallways despite our collective absence.
I started filling the display cases with some of the year’s much loved but sadly forgotten artwork.
To clear the record, I do try really hard to get all artwork that was turned in at the last minute, or maybe even long left behind from contests or the regional art show, back to its rightful owner. But we all know sometimes artwork slips through the cracks and the artists don’t come back to claim it. Rather than tuck these beauties back into the trusty portfolio, take a little time during teacher checkout and restock whatever display cases you might have. If you teach elementary, you can save some art for this purpose too.
This proud summertime display serves two great purposes.
Instead of blank, drab walls, any visitors during the summer will see that your art program is alive and well. Administrators, new teachers, new families and new students all frequent the building during the summer. With some art up on the wall, you’re communicating, “Art is big here!” Secondly, you’ll be starting the school year with some great visuals up in the hallway and avoid that customary two-week lull as students are completing their first projects. So don’t just wrap up for the summer, rev up for the next year!
Do you display student work over the summer? What is your method?
Do you have any tricks for returning forgotten artwork to students?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.