Since beginning my career as a teacher in the 80’s, I have always had respect for student artwork. Often, I have had more respect than the artist did, as many of these artworks I have collected were retrieved from the trash can or the classroom floor. I collected these works of art, got students to sign them whenever it was possible, and always accepted any time the students offered to give me a doodle as a gift. I put them all in my old blue binder, itself a gift from a student, and called it my Classroom Gallery. Let me show you a few of the treasures I have hoarded over the years.
I do believe some of these artworks were intended to grease the wheels of justice and keep certain artists out of trouble… especially when they weren’t actually listening to my wonderful teaching. This example is one of many that put my name and reputation in large fancy letters made with scented markers.
Sometimes, however, I detected a more truthful take on things when I un-wadded masterpieces from the trash can. They would reveal a slightly different sentiment, though usually only a temporary one.
I also found a lot of masterpieces that were imitations of other things in their lives, things that meant more to them than English lessons, at least for that moment.
Some other things were more original.
And I even got artwork from other teachers. Noe Garza was a comic book artist. You should’ve seen his classroom Silver Surfer.