Improving my Teaching Practice

Sharing one of my pet peeves

I’ve been thinking about art experiences with toddlers a lot recently. In my class (children 21 months- 2.5 years) we have been offering more painting experiences lately. Something that really bothers me is writing or drawing on children’s work. I’m not really sure why it bothers me so much but it does! I think of it as: if I were to put a lot of thought into my drawing or painting I would be so mad if someone else drew on it or wrote on it. I think that all children feel this way because I do so I try to always write on the back or put a stick note on the child’s work and I avoid drawing with them at all costs.

In reality do children really feel the same way I do?! It’s similar to the idea that when you are cold you bundle up your child, when you’re hungry you give your child a snack too. Or do I feel so strongly about writing on their work because I do more crafting and I enjoy the process but the product is what I focus on more. If someone wrote on my craft or changed it in some way I would be so angry!!!

“Art for toddlers and preschoolers is rarely about beauty. It’s all about exploration and personal expression. In fact, young kids rarely care about the end product at all. Art is action” Heather Shumaker, 269

MOST toddlers are not concerned about how their art turns out or what the product looks like so I’m assuming that MOST toddlers don’t mind that there name is written on their work, right next to their own markings. Writing on a child’s work still bothers me, even with this idea in mind. What about the toddlers that do care?! Out of respect for the child and their work, I will still continue to avoid writing on it because I don’t want my writing to stand out on their paper, I want their exploration and personal expressions too.

Last week I also shared another one of my pet peeves. Please feel free to share yours! I would really love to hear them.


Shumaker, Heather. It’s OK Not to Share…and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids. New York: Penguin Group, 2012. Print.


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