Pressure to Have a Pinterest Classroom?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by YoungTeacherGuy, May 30, 2017.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Aficionado

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    May 30, 2017

    YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc: you name it, they're full of blogs, vlogs, and pics of classrooms. Does the abundance of beautiful, oh-so-perfect, and uber organized classrooms make you feel subpar? Over the weekend, my BF and I were perusing YouTube teacher vids and he said, "Okay, these people obviously don't have spouses or kids. I wonder what their lives outside of the classroom look like?" It made me laugh--he's so matter of fact about everything.

    What're your thoughts on the glitz of today's classrooms?
     
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  3. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    There is such a things as too much! There should be a balance. Sometimes having too much stuff on the walls is overwhelming to students and myself. <~~ this also is a pain to deal with during state testing.
     
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  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    I had a Pinterest classroom before there was Pinterest. I think it's my Type A personality. I like things super organized. That sort of gives my room a Pinteresty feel. I don't really care what other people do in their rooms. I design mine for me and my students to function smoothly.
     
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  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    I was very panicked about this my first year, when I moved to a different city the night before starting at my first full time position (just 3 days after the interview)...and I'll never forget how my principal, who noticed my bit of panic, took time to walk me around the school through numerous different classrooms, showing me the different levels of "stuff on the walls" or basic/complicated set-ups, and assured me that I need not worry. I appreciated that, and her slight comment that she sometimes dislikes rooms that are too cluttered with things on the wall / things going on (sensory overload), made me feel much calmer.

    I still sometimes worry...but I've found a great balance: art work from the art docents each month tend to go up around the classrooms, but then I just have 1-3 anchor charts for math/literacy each at most outside of that (and vocab cards / learning targets). The rest of my classroom is simple, straightforward, and done with purpose of how the kids will use it, and based on their feedback on what works/doesn't work.

    (If anything's "pinterest-y", though I didn't base it off of that...it's my class library...I'm a bit too meticulous about arranging my books / their presentation ;))
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Enthusiast

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    Oh, the pressure is real! Especially when your administrator loves the Pinterest rooms and reminds you that how your room looks is part of your evaluation! I'm not extremely Pinteresty, but I have obvious organizational systems in place.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    The closest my room would come to a Pinterest classroom would be as a "before" picture. There is a place for everything, but everything is not always in its place. My room is busy and well-lived in and it sometimes shows.
     
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  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my last job, there were many new (mostly first year) teachers because of the high turnover. There was definitely tons of pressure to have a pinterest classroom there. I used to giggle about seeing the same "creative" ideas from room to room. That year there was a big thing going around on pinterest about covering your door with this cutesy/decorated quote that said something like, "When you enter this classroom, you are readers, writers, mathematicians, explorers, scientists, and you are loved." No less than five teachers at my school had the exact same door display! I definitely "decorate," but I prefer a clean and organized look. I cover my bulletin boards with paper and cute border, but most of my "displays" are student work or anchor charts with a couple of posters thrown in. P/AP at the school frequently criticized my room for not being "welcoming." I ignored them and kept it the way I liked it. I think a lot of those "pinterest threw up in here" classrooms would be very distracting for kids. My current school has mostly veteran teachers and there is only one real "pinterest room" that I can think of. She has an owl theme with tons of different colors and I get overwhelmed every time I walk in there!
     
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  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    I think there's something to be said about letting a room develop along with yourself as a teacher throughout the year and with the kids: let it be a place that they have created, that fits your interactions with your group that year. This is the first year I've had "Be kinder than is necessary" up on my whiteboard all year, with strips for kids to write kind messages to each other underneath, because Wonder seemed to become a special part of our classroom this year. All my genre labels, including my "new book" and "Newberry Books" sections in my library are student-created labels from this year. I have about 4 posters around the room that have to do with "places to read", "just keep reading, just keep reading", etc... that they made this year.

    This drives such a stronger community and buy-in throughout the entire year.
     
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  10. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    As a future teacher, it's a relief to see that not everyone (teachers and administrators both) is swept up in this. I want to have a room that looks good, of course, but as a first-year teacher who will most likely be moving to another city, I won't have the time or money to put that together.

    And I'm not trying to be toxicly-masculine, but as a man who listens to a lot of prog rock and metal, a lot of these "Pinterest classrooms" aren't exactly my aesthetic and trying to put one together would look and feel a bit fake. (Not that I ever wanted to decorate a classroom with Dio album art, but still.)
     
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  11. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I really felt the pressure when I started teaching. I used to spend hours on Pinterest and looking at blogs. Over the years, I've realized that a lot of that really adds no instructional value whatsoever, so I shouldn't be spending so much time on it.

    I'm becoming a minimalist lately to some extent (I've always leaned in that direction, but now am doing it purposefully), so I want my classroom to reflect that. Other than books (I have a huge classroom library - this year it was on 3 different walls of the room) and a few lamps and special treasures from kids, I cannot stand clutter. Same goes for walls. Classrooms with over decorated walls really stress me out. I'm really trying to pare down what I have and be more organized with what's left.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to have an organized, clean looking classroom without tons of clutter. I want to have what we need to learn - both in the classroom and on the walls - and not much extra. I function better that way.

    I love this. I had my kids make genre posters for our library this year and I kept them up all year. I'd like to expand this next year and have the kids make more of the things in our classroom. It really gives them ownership.
     
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  12. GPC0321

    GPC0321 Companion

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    May 31, 2017

    I'll admit I can waste hours of time looking at Pinterest classroom ideas, and I do get inspired. I don't feel the pressure at all, maybe because I'm high school, but sometimes I do catch myself daydreaming about tricking my room out to make it Pinterest-worthy.

    In fact, I'm planning to do some redecorating and rearranging this summer, but it's not due to wanting to fit in with the Pinterest classroom craze. I'm revamping some of what I teach and how I teach, and my classroom will reflect this. Everything that goes on my walls or shelves will have an actual link to what is being taught and learned in my classroom. I always want administrators, other teachers, and any visitors we have to our school to be able to walk into my classroom and instantly see that it is a place of learning. I want the evidence to literally surround them on the walls and boards and shelves.

    This is only the second year I've been in this particular room, and it looks much better now than it did when I first got into it (the teacher before me was the polar opposite of a Pinterest teacher!), but I have plans to de-clutter, put up some new, relevant displays, and make it an environment that says both "Welcome" and "I Have High Expectations!"

    Because I do think the classroom environment matters to students. If the space is messy, unorganized, dreary, bare, etc. I think that sends a message to the kids that the teacher doesn't really care all that much. And if the teacher doesn't care, why should they?

    Now, that doesn't mean everything has to be color-coordinated with froo-froo decorations and cutesie-poopsie junk plastering every inch of the room. But if the room looks like the teacher actually cares and likes being there, the kids are more likely to feel that way too.
     
  13. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    May 31, 2017

    Those pinterest classrooms overwhelm ME much less my students. I prefer my organized only what is necessary aesthetic. I love looking at the pictures, but in real life, it doesn't work for me or my students.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Enthusiast

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    My school district doesn't allow "Pinterest classrooms". I'll never forgot how simultaneously disappointed and relieved I was when the superintendent told us at new teacher orientation that we couldn't have bright colors and "teacher store junk" in our classrooms. Instead, we are expected to have natural room decor, inspired by nature... "If it's not good enough for your living room, then it's not good enough for our classroom!" That next weekend I returned hundreds of dollars of unopened merchandise to the teacher store, and I've never looked back!
     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    I take one look at the Pinterest classroom pictures, and then I hyperventilate. Fortunately, not a problem where I work now - no one buys into that hype. A couple of teachers are definately more creative than the rest of us, but I have to say that I love the fact that I mostly work with men who are neat, but not overly invested in the gimmicky Pinterest rooms I have seen online. I think interesting, but I wouldn't want to live there.
     
  16. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    A couple years ago a curriculum company was filmin a commercial and was looking for a classroom at my school to use

    People told them they had to see my room because I did amazing things.

    They took one look and could barely keep a straight face. My classroom had a very.... lived in... look. Not really commercial worthy.
     
  17. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I've actually been ranting about this a lot lately. As a sub I see a lot of rooms, and if your room is beautiful but your kids have no critical thinking skills-- maybe you're focusing on the wrong things
     
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  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Maven

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    I like to have an organized color theme in my room, but not a mess of pinterest decorations.
     
  19. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    I travel between schools in my division and I know which teachers spend the most time on Pinterest because they all have the same bulletin board displays each month.

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to create a beautiful space to be - we spend a lot of time in our classrooms. But I also think we need a space that fosters learning and critical thinking and tying ribbons to everything may be beautiful, but it doesn't do anything for student learning.

    My classroom was always organized so we could work efficiently and students had everything they needed.
     
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  20. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    When i had to leave mid year, the new teacher came in and reorganized everything a week before I left.
    "Her" room was beautiful. All the parents commented. (Some a bit rudely about how much "more organized" it was than how I had it)
    But in my organization, the kids could get to whatever they needed. Math manipulatives, rulers, markers, books... a lot of things were stacked low to the floor (which looked a little cluttered) but the kids had so much autonomy
    Her room was super decorated and looked like someone's living room. But there wasn't a single supply that kids could get to independently.
     
  21. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    I felt it more/ was more into it when I taught elementary self-contained. Now that I teach middle school it is a relief to be more minimal. I cover the boards, but everything in my room on the walls serves a purpose. Nothing is purely decorative. Most of the wall space is taken up with writeable areas, anchor charts or student work.
     

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