Putting on a good display is important. Ask the Red Arrows, they spend hours getting things as close to perfection as they can.
But what about schools? Displays are obviously important in schools because they show what the school is about and what the pupils can do.
Except in some cases, they don’t.
In some cases, classroom, corridor and hall displays are pretty fraudulent and let’s face it they aren’t difficult to spot.
Displays where a teacher has done all the work are a bit embarrassing. This window-dressing might make the place look nice but what’s the point? Everyone can see that it isn’t the children’s work. Children can produce masterpieces (remember Austin’s Butterfly) but please, don’t try to kid us.
Some displays are so pristine they are cringe-worthy. Even the displays where pupil work is shown, they are the ‘best ones’ and a very carefully selected chosen few. These don’t represent the ability range in the class but they at least look great to the outside world.
But they don’t. If you see brilliant displays everywhere then sniff a rat and ask why.
Why would someone pretend this is what we do because the reality of a class isn’t anything approaching perfection. It’s messy and full of mistakes and that’s called ‘learning’.
So what if your display isn’t perfect – it’s not supposed to be. This is a living representation of who is in your class not your lettering and laminating skills.
Displays of course need to be planned and pupils need to put in the effort (don’t accept mediocrity) but culling 90% of your class output isn’t playing fair.
Inclusive displays will be those that place every piece of work on the board. But even when this does happen, it’s common to see the ‘worst ones’ shoved down the bottom of the display or at the top so they are not at eye level. When this happens, that’s an ego at work because teachers want to look and feel good.
Peacock teachers love to display what they can do but forget it isn’t about them, it’s about the children. They might attract attention but for all the wrong reasons.