Monday, August 22, 2011

What to do with all those teacher samples???

As art teachers, we NEVER throw things away.  For one, we can always use this for another project, cut it up and make something out of it, or put it in that pile of things we will sort through in the future.  Unfortunately, that pile grows larger and larger year after year and the samples we said we'd use begin to collect dust and fade with time.  Sigh.  This year, I decided to pull my samples out of retirement and use them for a beginning of the year bulletin board:

and wall decor:

and hallway displays:

and yet, I still have piles more in the Art Room :(  What do you do with your teacher samples?


  1. I've been worrying about this, with impending retirement in June. I have MOUNTAINS, even after discarding a bunch this past June (35 years worth), most of it big. And there's the 3-D stuff: in papier mache: an iguana, a penguin, a dragonfly, 2 cats, 2 monsters, 2 hot air balloons,a tiki,a Kachina doll, a fish, several masks, plus my 5' dragon, my 4'tall totem pole, a bunch of crazy stuff made with plaster bandage, a sock monkey, and so much much more... HELP!

  2. Well, Phyl, I think a newbie art teacher would LOVE to acquire your treasures! We had a retired art teacher in our district who called every art teacher she knew, held a get-together at her building, and sold/gave away all of her goodies to good homes. Something to consider?

  3. Your displays are very colorful, which I LOVE! To control the mountain of artwork I acculmulate in examples, I have begun to give them away. As we finish a project (especially with the younger students), I draw a name and that person gets to take my example home. I always make sure I sign it- they love that!

    Occasionally, I also pull out a pile of leftover artwork or examples and have the students alter them in whatever way they want. I also set out all the odds and ends to be used up at the end of the year.

    Phyl- you should have an online garage sale for us art teachers! I would buy something from you!


  4. I, too, have a mountain of teacher samples. I save them all, especially my mid-high school ones as I have put alot of time into them and I use alot of them year after year. This past year, I spent alot of time after school laminating all of my best samples. Some of the older ones were getting wrecked, so now they're all sturdy and waterproof! ha! ha! Just don't laminate thick oil pastels projects as some of mine melted :(
    My biggest organizational concern has always been how to store there samples so they're both organized and easily accessible. I've tried big boxes, big cardboard folders and shelves and none of these has been perfect. Ok, but not perfect.

  5. When I student taught, my cooperating teacher would give away her samples. She would always keep one as a reference but then if she did another while demonstrating she used it as an incentive and the artist of the day or a well behaved student would get to keep her example -- the kids LOVED this because of course, her examples were always "perfect!"

  6. The retiring teacher whose job I fill now, kindly left a large box of samples for me as well as a list of what the grade levels had done over the years. I was SO appreciative!! She had ideas I had never thought of! But I, too, am trying to come up with ways of storing samples in an organized manner. Haven't figured that one out yet. Any ideas?