Monday, August 15, 2016

My "Not So Cute" Classroom

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

They're all over the internet this time of year: Those sweet, adorable classrooms with perfectly matched accessories and delightfully painted shelves, and cleverly decorated bulletin boards.  I admit, I love looking at the pictures of the "Pinterest worthy" classrooms, and imagine what it might be like with one of those classrooms. Seriously, if I win the lottery, I'll use some of the money to hire a decorator for my classroom.

My classroom doesn't look like these. First of all, I don't have the "decorator's eye" that these teachers have. Second of all, I don't have time to sand, paint, and decorate all the furniture in matching colors.  Nor do I have the money. (Did I mention I was a single parent, still recovering from sending my daughter to college?) Third of all, I just don't have the time, since I'm busy teaching!

My classroom is real. 
It has furniture I have inherited over 39 years of teaching. 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Here are a couple of my chairs, both held together with duct tape. The top one is usually hidden by my desk, where I rarely sit, but couldn't live without, since it's where I pile everything! The bottom chair is a classic. It's one of the few adult chairs where my feet actually reach the floor. It looked great a couple of years ago when I covered it with duct tape. And over the years, it has earned the nickname, "The Drop Chair!" Seriously, anyone who sits in it eventually drops stuff!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

You can see a corner of my desk here, nothing fancy. I went out and bought these cheap, plastic, white shelves, and have several throughout the classroom. They're not very sturdy, but I need the space. (I'm not completely unpacked yet, these are usually much more crowded with "overflow" from my desk!) Thankfully, these white shelves lighten up the classroom, and offer plenty of space!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Speaking of shelves, most of mine don't match. At the top, are some second hand metal shelves. Yes, they make noise when the kids bump into them. No, they're not all the same color. But if you look closely, you'll see all my kids' book boxes match, and I've got tons of great books!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

My file cabinets. 
No, the green one doesn't lock. 
Neither do the others.
But they hold my stuff!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

The door doesn't work on my closet. 
When you turn the knob, two metal pieces just clang together. When I shut it, I have to tuck it in.
But it still holds my "job chart" just fine! 

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

My rug was in another classroom before I got it. 
It has holes from pencils, and "permadirt". 
But it's still a comfortable place to sit and listen to stories and lessons.
My easel is new to me this year, but not new to the school. I have yet to get the 3 legs even. It's probably the only whiteboard easel in the school that is NOT magnetic. But it holds chart paper!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

My desks don't match. They are covered in "permadirt" and scratches. The chairs don't match and aren't all good sizes for the kids I have. The legs aren't adjustable, so some kids will have legs swinging and others will barely fit their legs under their desks.
But I have enough desks for them all!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

I have a number of shelves and tables throughout the classroom. None of them match, they could use a good sanding and painting or staining. But luckily I have plenty of places to put games, books, supplies, and, of course, children.

I'm still working on my classroom, and it's going to look a whole lot better than it does now. But I've learned not to compare my "hand me down" classroom with those "Pinterest worthy" classrooms. 

Why?

Because that's not what it's all about! Teaching is about the kids. We make the best of all we have, and my focus is always on the kids. I plan to keep them so busy learning and having fun that they won't even notice that our furniture isn't the best!


13 comments:

  1. Amen, Sally! It's about the learning that takes place!

    Krazy Town

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I spend plenty of time (and money) on the learning part!

      Sally

      Delete
  2. My room isn't cute either. I'm going for functional.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Functional works for me! (And the kids!)

      Sally

      Delete
  3. You make me feel better! At this time of the year I beat myself up trying for the cute or matchy! Usually a FAIL! I get partway there, but I just don't have the time or energy to sustain or complete it. I get side-tracked with lesson ideas and making fun games and creating a new digital assignment. Last year was the first year in a LONG teaching career that my tables and chairs match. I moved into a new room that has ONE bulletin board. Wahoo!!! Like you, nothing is new in my room. It's all gently worn (cough, cough) and WELL used! I teach three sections of Language Arts and one of Science so my room is known as the messy room...projects galore all the time! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that title since I know that means LOTS of learning is happening.

    Have a wonderful year full of FUN and LEARNING!
    Angela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think getting side-tracked with teaching most definitely trumps having a cute classroom! Yep, learning is definitely more important! Some people can do both: cute classrooms AND great education... I'm not one of those!

      Sally

      Delete
  4. Your words are music to my ears! My classroom has broken ceiling tiles, VERY limited natural light, and a doorknob that completely falls out of the door into the exterior hallway. :) I'm so grateful, however... that the A/C works and it works WELL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had A/C! Luckily, here in New England, the need for A/C doesn't last long!

      Sally

      Delete
  5. This is amazing!! Glad I'm not the only one. I tried to be fancy this year and hang curtains, but the curtain rod wasn't long enough.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is amazing!! Glad I'm not the only one. I tried to be fancy this year and hang curtains, but the curtain rod wasn't long enough.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think you're my new BFF. I frantically pin and yet... I start school in a little over a week and don't know which room might be mine, if I have to change rooms five times a day or if I'm sharing. I lost my desk somewhere 3 years, and 5 moves ago. I have a 2 drawer file cabinet with no key and 15 boxes of stuff with my name on it somewhere in the building. I don't know if I'll have a bulletin board, let alone make it amazing lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the dose of reality and the reminder that it doesn't have to be perfect or super colourful and coordinated. I'm pretty happy with my room, and it works. Now I just have to work on me - constantly working on being a gentler, more patient teacher - always good to remember that I'm a work in progress as well as the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yay! Thank you for your delightful post. While I like my classroom to be neat and organized, I'm not into all the matchy-matchy stuff that can look too commercial. After 39 years, you deserve to have your room however you want!

    ReplyDelete

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