“What do you do?”
“I’m a teacher”
Next comes the obligatory response “What do you teach?”
“I’m the art teacher!”
A light goes on, “Everyone LOVES the art teacher!”
A conversation almost always follows about their art teacher. The stories they feel compelled to share are funny, nostalgic and always memorable. It’s true. We are the “special teachers.”
Beloved art teachers you know who you are. Your desk is filled with letters and drawings. You find an occasional note on your board a student has wrote confessing their love for art, and more importantly you. Kids pound on the school bus windows just to smile and wave to their art teacher. You are the beloved ones.
All this love has it’s problems though, mainly in the form of CLUTTER.
This outpouring of love created a huge paper problem for me.
I had notes on my doors, taped to my desk and stuck on the windows. This love fest was a mess! So one day, I decided to clean up the “clutter.” I buried the notes deep in the recycling bin and wouldn’t let the students empty it that day. I walked quickly through the hallways, head down, ignoring all the “can I help!” requests as I hurried outside. These innocent little love notes were quickly turning into contraband. As I threw them in the recycling I found myself thinking, “I’m sorry, this had to be done!”
I wish I knew another way to save years of these wonderful little gifts.
The solution to my problem became a big hit in my classroom. It’s called “Cards to Remember.”
Now, when a student proudly brings me a card or drawing, I read it and tell them how wonderful they are, and then direct them to the Cards to Remember book. They add their card or drawing to the binder. I leave the binder on display so other students can look through it. I have come to terms with the fact that I can’t hang every card on the wall, but I can make kids feel as important as they make me feel. This might seem like a small organizational detail, but it is these small caring gestures that make all the difference. Don’t you think?
This is my favorite note because I miss these students so much! This one should go on my mirror instead of in the book. We all could use a little pick me up some mornings!
What are some other ways you handle all the “Love Notes'” given to you by students?