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RE: displaying work


From: Rebecca Stone-Danahy (RebeccaStoneDanahy_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Jun 22 2001 - 09:26:46 PDT

To add on to my thought about displaying (and thanks Mark)....I have come to
realize that when dealing with children I never know what goes on in their
lives and thus I don't feel that it is fair to not display work. I have
come down very hard on students in the past only to learn that they come
from abusive home lives, parents who are never home, etc. It is the worst
feeling in the world to not display a child's work because I thought that
they didn't try enough and then learn that they are suffering. Now, I'm not
saying that all children have something extraneous going on, I'm just making
the point that who am I to judge when I don't know what goes on behind
closed doors in that child's life.
Even in my AP class this year, I had a student who had just learned to begin
to overcome his learning disabilities and he flourished for one of the first
times in his schooling career at 18. I had another student who was very
ADD, very self-conscious and extremely talented. He did not try as hard as
I felt that he should have and I could see that he just could not get past
his low self-esteem. I later met his father who only talked about the
talents of his brother. So you see, I have learned to accept the kids for
what they are and what they can give me in the present. This isn't to say
that I don't get frustrated or angry with them. It's a hard balance to
maintain. I just try not to judge but rather accept the students for who
they are and where they are presently. Yes, I display all of their work
because maybe at that point in their lives it was the very best they could
One last thought! This does not mean everyone gets an A. I still use
rubrics and the students know they have to demonstrate the concepts that I
am teaching. I just give them a break when it comes to displaying.
Besides, a nice mat can work wonders for a piece.
On some level, I do agree with the others who have written that only A work
should be displayed. However, I feel that my students are just kids and I
can give constructive criticism and grade honestly. When they are ready
developmentally, they will learn and realize how they truly compare to
others. However, that is a personal journey that each individual must make
when they are ready and is not up to me, the teacher, to force them through
And, I'm not saying that everyone else is wrong. We all have to decide and
make decisions that we feel comfortable you see I am not judging
any of you either! It is great to hear different opinions and make the
decision that works best for us.
Thanks for letting me speak,
Becky in NC
 ----Original Message-----
From: Mark Alexander []
Sent: Friday, June 22, 2001 10:18 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: displaying work

I agree with Becky. I think every student's work should be displayed. (PreK
- 8) I frequently remind students to do their best work, because quite
likely it will be on display. Throughout the year I display many class
projects in a group and include everyone's artwork from that project. In the
spring art show, each child is represented with two of their best pieces
from the year. (They select one and I select one)

----- Original Message -----
From: Rebecca Stone-Danahy <>
To: ArtsEdNet Talk <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2001 12:06 PM
Subject: displaying work

I personally choose to display every student's art work. Some students may
not be as talented but are still proud and feel that they did a good job.
For those that don't try so hard, I still display their work. It serves to
"embarrass" them and I hope they will then try harder. I just don't like to
choose one student's work above the other.

I don't know if this is right or wrong...I guess I like everyone to be
included. I have taught pre-K through 12 but am now just teaching 9-12.

Becky in NC