Teaching provides many opportunities to collect artifacts. Here's one I've been meaning to share. I consider it an art form of popular culture. Sadly, it's now probably extinct because of the way textbooks are distributed. But...there was a time, when a teacher was responsible for collecting and distributing books. Lots of record-keeping here. Some may still do this, but my experience recently says all students go to the textbook room and check out their own books with computerized ID cards.
Anyhow, one of the rituals back in the day was to determine the condition of the book, record it on the little form stamped inside the front cover, and then add date and teacher's name.
Students, being the clever beings that they are, would often embellish the choice of descriptors. For years one of the most common forms of written classroom folklore was found inside books that had been checked out.
In deconstructing my classroom of 25 years, one of the last things I did was to go through some old copies of books that I believed might soon be discarded. I tore out a few of these book condition charts and put them in a folder. Here's one:
I've always loved the spirit of these little bulletin boards found inside most schoolbooks for many years. Can't help but think that it might be lost forever. This one, like the small collection I managed to harvest become like Zen Koans for contemplating the arbitrary spontaneity of young people. Especially when it comes to completing a simple task. In this era of standardized curriculum, here's a flaming torch that shines on individuality.