I’ve been reading a lot of advice for new teachers and I keep reading warnings about themes and Pinterest classrooms. The common idea seems to be these take time and detract from the important things – like curriculum and student learning.
Here’s the thing – I love themes and I love Pinterest. My classroom will be filled with Pinterest finds. Crafting, Pinterest, themes – they make me happy. And the reality of teaching is I spend a lot time at school. At least eight hours a day, five days a week. A minimum of 1,408 each school year. (This is a very very low estimate.) If I’m going to spend that much time in a room, I want to make it a happy place. While every other decision I make throughout the year is based on the kids and their needs. But, the theme and the beginning of the year Pinterest-ing is what I do for me.
I don’t make a bunch of anchor charts. I don’t label the kids’ lockers. They make those. But, I do craft my heart out. This year’s theme…Travel.
Themes are necessary to my happiness. I am not an everything needs a place kind of person, but I am the everything needs a theme person. Every party. Every classroom. Themes are a necessity.
So, my point is there need to be two warnings…one for new teachers and one for school leaders.
New teachers: Beware of falling into a pit of unnecessary work. Themes and Pinterest crafts are not necessary for your classroom to be a welcoming place for students. Charts should be made with the kids. Students need to be a part of creating the physical environment.
School Leaders: Don’t judge a teacher just because her classroom is filled with crafts. Yes, she may be a Pinterest addict. However, that doesn’t mean that she is taking time away from planning. It doesn’t mean her focus isn’t on student learning. It may just mean that crafting and themes make her happy. 🙂