I have embraced many new things over the years. In spite of the tendency for the aged to resist change, in my 30s, I fought the urge to cast off new-fangled ideas. I have been an early adopter of such crazy ideas as smart phones and iPods. I learned to love Facebook when it was in its infancy. I even signed on to Twitter, Linked In, YouTube and Instagram- before they were cool, hip, groovy. But over the years, one social media site could not entice me into its offensive web… Pinterest. I couldn’t understand the role “pinning” could play in my life. I knew how to Google and had a basic knowledge of how to bookmark items on my computer. I didn’t understand how this could be any different. So I resisted Pinterest for years.
Fast forward a couple of years until when I got my first classroom all to myself.
One sweltering summer night, as I pondered the glory of being entrusted with a space all my own, I began to panic. I had visited my room and was faced with blank walls, bland floors and a vibe that was altogether, “institutional chic.”
How could I expect a group of 9 year olds to come in on their first day of 4th grade and be excited to be in a room with beige walls? I delved deep into my creative roots and thought back to every set I had ever created. I dug out pictures of other kid-friendly spaces I had helped decorate. I called my friends and texted my colleagues and still I came up lacking. I had no idea what to do. So, as I turned to Facebook to air my disgrace to 500 of my closest friends, I saw a link. It promised crafty ideas galore. It beckoned to me with glimpses of limitless design inspirations. It taunted me with its sassy icon- a playful white font on a field of red. And I fell for it. So began 80 hours of decorating that cost me around $450.
Darn you Pinterest. Darn you and your plethora of ideas. You led me down a rabbit hole so deep I wasn’t sure if I would escape in time for the first day of school, let alone open-house two days before! After that first, fateful night of furious pinning, I shopped and I shopped. I pressured my family and my friends to help. We cut and pasted and twisted and clipped. We hung and painted and glued and taped. We traced and cut and labeled and laminated. It was a frenzy of room prepping chaos. And finally, my room was ready for open-house. Unfortunately, after hours of last-minute tweaks in an un-airconditioned room in 90-degree heat, I was soaked in sweat and covered in plaster of paris and decoupage glue.
I will forever remember that year as the year I made a less than stellar first impression on my students’ parents. I blame you, Pinterest, you and your dazzling format for gathering ideas and storing them in one, convenient place.
But at least my room looked good.