Cleaning House

I have been stuck in a conundrum for a bit and I know it’s the same one that every one of the preschool teachers reading this (and parents and other teachers as well) has. 

I have been in this field for close to 20 years…do you know how many special paintings, drawings, and pictures that is?!?  TOO many!

Plus, I don’t have children of my own yet…do you know how many I am going to have to add to that collection?

Well, I have, over the last few months, gotten rid of a whole bunch…unfortunately that means my trash can has been filled many times over, as has the recycling bin.  The first 10 I felt a whole heck of a lot of guilt…from 11 on, though, I realized that many of those paintings I couldn’t even tell you who gave them to me!

When I had an office, I would hang the pictures from the children up around the office, many of them even got framed.  However, I don’t have an office anymore and don’t have a place to store them.

Then I got to thinking, “If I were to suddenly die tomorrow, what would happen to all these pictures?”  The truthful answer is that they would go right where I’ve been putting them.

The other day I got a fabulous picture from a child just for me.  I thanked her profusely and gushed over it…about an hour later I was out of the room and handed it to her teacher requesting her to put it in the child’s portfolio…a place the child would never know that I gave it back; and when she DOES realize I gave it back, she’ll probably be a teenager and won’t even remember who I was.

I have a question for all of you: what do YOU do with those precious pictures the children give to you?  Anyone else feel the guilt I do at times?  Or am I totally cold-hearted for tossing these treasures?


Barbra Stephens said...

Okay Jenni,
I've gone through this. But sometimes it's something more than tossing out a picture, it's about holding onto something else.
I personally can't think straight around clutter....
I have a great memory but holding on to each picture will clutter my house. I am making conscious decisions now what rents space in my head as well..
I do keep a few pieces of art. I have 2 left actually, the rest are diction- I am using that now for my blog. After that, history...
If you don't mind me saying, and perhaps it may help.
Your contribution to early childhood education has been immense and had helped so many children and families-I am not sure you will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records of your kids art collection....
unless that is your goal,lol.

Jenni said...

Phew, thanks! I had so many people in shock that I would toss these items and was beginning to wonder if I was cold hearted or just logical minded...that helped.

Barbra Stephens said...

Twenty years worth of kids art to store is a lot.
I think they would get over the shock if you asked them to kindly keep it for you until you decide what to do with it....
Logical side kicks in quick, I'll bet.