With the new school year right around the corner, many teachers are busy browsing Pinterest for classroom inspiration, not for lesson plans or the latest student engagement ideas, but for the perfectly decorated room. You know, the picture-perfect classroom, where everything matches, everything has a place, everything is decorated and color-coded, from the classroom door to the freshly sharpened pencils cup. While visually, these types of classrooms look appealing, that’s just not me.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. Sometimes I feel like I’m the odd-one-out. Those Pinterest inspired classrooms make me feel inadequate, but I know deep down that I am a good teacher.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have a rose gold stapler with matching rose gold paper clips. I don’t have fancy cactus drawer labels for every type of supply, but I’m still organized with methods that work for me.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have one of those cutesy, vibrant colored teacher lesson plan binders, but I still deliver valuable, engaging, and effective lessons.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have a customized notebook with my name on it to take notes at Professional Development sessions. Yet, I still take away vital information to increase productivity in my classroom.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have elaborate, over-the-top bulletin board displays that I change with the seasons. I do have word walls, anchor charts, learning goals, and other valuable information for my students posted around the room.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t send home adorable weekly newsletters. Rest assured, I still have excellent parent communication.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have color-coded flexible seating with pillows or yoga mats. The way I arrange my students works for me… isn’t that what matters?
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have an elaborate reward system with certificates, prizes, or coupons for good behavior. I set my expectations high at the beginning of the year and maintain consistent procedures.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have eye-catching mod podge wrapping paper on the front of my filing cabinets. But know that I can find any worksheet you need. My organization system works for me.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I didn’t thread decorative ribbon through milk crates. Yet my students still know where to find missing assignments.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t’ have a hand-painted, personalized, and distressed stool sitting at the front of the room. I prefer to walk around the room and engage with my students.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher. My classroom does not have a theme. It’s not a jungle theme or a polka dot llama theme or even a green chevron striped theme. When my students enter the room, they still know they are in a nurturing place where we can build skills together.
I am not a Pinterest teacher. I don’t have an organized, color-coded classroom library placed in alphabetized bins. Yet my students still have access to a wide variety of books which accommodate the many interests and abilities of my students.
Does having a Pinterest inspired classroom help me pursue more significant challenges as a professional? Does having a Pinterest inspired classroom encourage students to use their critical thinking skills?
Try as I may, I have never been a Pinterest teacher. When you enter my classroom, trust that you are not going to be taken aback by my cute theme or unique bulletin board displays. Parents and administrators don’t enter my room and gush over how I’ve arranged my room. And that is 100% ok!
I’m not a Pinterest teacher, I’m me. I’m not competing with the teacher down the hall based on the looks of my classroom. I’m not trying to outdo the fresh out of college teacher who has the press lights hanging on the wall for voice levels.
Sometimes I worry that newer teachers have formed this idea in their heads that the way their classroom looks speaks for what type of teacher they are. Nothing could be further from the truth. Teachers are pouring countless dollars of their own money into these classroom themes, flexible seating, and organizing shelves to achieve a specific look. But, looks aren’t going to get the job done.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want a cute, color-coded, organized classroom, then go for it, but don’t be pressured by the classrooms around you, to fit into this idea. I personally would rather spend my time creating student-centered lessons or researching the latest differentiation techniques.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher, but that does not make me a lousy teacher. In fact, I hold various leadership positions and have more than once received perfect evaluation scores from multiple administrators.
It is vital that we don’t forget our true purpose in the classroom. Classrooms can be cute and organized all day long, but classrooms don’t educate children, teachers do. Make sure that before you pour all your money and energy into your classroom, that you don’t forget about your students. That’s the real reason we’re here.
I’m not a Pinterest teacher, but I’m still a GREAT teacher.
Break the mold, and just be YOU!