Tonight, hundreds of guests (parents, aunts, uncles, community members, and invited experts) will be coming to my school. Not to hear a famous speaker or even meet with teachers. These adults will be coming to campus for one reason – to see our students’ work.
There is a hidden power to making students’ work public. As Ron Berger wrote in a 2013 Edutopia article:
Once a student creates work of value for an authentic audience beyond the classroom — work that is sophisticated, accurate, important and beautiful — that student is never the same. When you have done quality work, deeper work, you know you are always capable of doing more.
Ensuring student work has an authentic audience is intricately tied to supporting students to create beautiful and transformational work. An audience can motivate, inspire, and even provide feedback to help student reach levels of work they did not know they were capable of creating. In addition, sharing their work beyond the classroom honors it as an achievement and creates connections with between school, community and families that are centered on looking on what students have accomplished (and in some cases how they need to continue to strive to meet expectations). Not to mention, the energy and excitement of an exhibition of student work is unparalleled!
I’m excited to see what tonight brings and share the beautiful work I have the opportunity to see with you all later this week!