Why Having a Perfect “Pinterest Classroom” Doesn’t Matter

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.


Classrooms are a beautiful place really. I mean, children and teachers spend most of their days in them learning, laughing, talking, and SO much more. So why, as teachers, do we stress when our classrooms aren’t “pin-worthy?” Find out truly why having a perfect “Pinterest Clasroom” is not as important as the learning and transformation that takes place throughout the year.

Find out why having the perfect "Pinterest Classroom" isn't as important as the learning and transformation that takes place!

Why Having a Perfect “Pinterest Classroom” Doesn’t Matter

This time of year social networks are flooded with images of classroom design and setups to either motivate you or make you feel as though you honestly should get an interior decorator for your classroom (forget the house, it’s back to school season). You can either feel inspired or you can feel inadequate (or even in between).

What happens if your classroom doesn’t look like that?

As a teacher and blogger I thought briefly about doing a “classroom reveal” and showing my room in all its beautifully designed glory. I did work hard on it (Thank you mom for your help too!) and I love its layout and theme. However,  I realized when I took out my camera that there were some (okay a lot) of piles and randomness. I thought, “Ew that can’t go in the photo… let’s relocate that pile… nope that isn’t a good shot. Look at that mess, I better clean first!” and so the cycle went.

Then I thought… “Okay Alex, you cannot be the only teacher who doesn’t have a perfect “Pinterest Classroom”, even if you feel like you are.” If I have piles to move out of a photo and tipped over book boxes because Suzie Q was twirling like a tornado during Read to Self (ahem, SIGH) doesn’t that just make me “A Kindergarten Teacher?”

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE beautiful classrooms and I love seeing them and reading about them. I want one too and I know that for some teachers, they really need that level of organization and coordination, and it makes them happy. We do spend a TON of time at school, so we should love our rooms!

I do love my room and I did work hard to get it ready for my students. There are several parts that I think look like a cute, themed, and fun room!

Example A – My library

I love my library. I think it is cute and cozy and it is one of my favorite places in our room!

I love my library. I think it is cute and cozy and it is one of my favorite places in our room! This photo is not staged and was taken right after school – I didn’t fix it up just for you, sorry. Books fallen out of the bins that we didn’t see? Check. Stuffed animals looking less than alert and photo ready? Check. But, it’s one of my kids’ favorite places to be, and that makes me happy.

Example B – My whole group area

We love meeting here on the carpet to sing, work, talk, and more!

I do have a jungle theme as you can tell, and I love this area too. I think my room is pretty early childhood friendly in its setup, and we love meeting here on the carpet to sing, work, talk, and more! In my room we do play every day (we are very blessed, as I know many of you kinder teachers don’t get to) and we have block areas, home living, and more!

Here is a closer look at our block area from my Instagram feed – my kids do truly love that dollhouse!

My students love this dollhouse and spend a lot of time playing with it.

Ok enough pretty – Cue up the soundtrack to Jaws please…

Here is a messy pile of our mini books and alphabet games that you wouldn't find in a Pinterest classroom.

Next to my beautiful home living area (Another favorite of my kids’ – they love the kitchen!) is this. Not sure what it is, but it is growing. You would definitely not find this in a “Pinterest Classroom.”

It is frightening, yes. Even scarier? I can tell you everything that is in those piles and buckets. Even scarier still? I am using that paper holder as a SHELF and have no papers in it at all… um… okay…

No, we don’t do 900 worksheets a day. We just had our mini books and alphabet hunts/games made up super early this year and there they are not put away yet (Will they ever be? Who knows!).

Somewhere in there is the pencil sharpener but be careful trying to use it because those buckets are teetering near it and could collapse at any moment.

Maybe the soundtrack to Halloween is better…

My standing teacher area is often unorganized and overflowing.

I don’t have a desk but I have a standing teacher area in a back corner. This photo was taken after a day when someone handed me a box of donated books, my lunch was eaten in 3.5 seconds because there were too many things to do (hence the containers) and a child got a dramatic play cookie jammed so far in a play water pitcher that I couldn’t even dig it out with scissors (can you spy that story in the photo?).

So what exactly am I trying to say?

Classrooms are beautiful based on what occurs inside their doors and that has nothing to do with design and everything to do with experiences. I love a well designed, “Pinterest Classroom” as much as the next person and I keep striving to have a well organized, non-cluttered work space every day. For me, it may be more difficult than others!

I used to (like even last week if I am being honest) see classrooms on social media and think mine needed to look like that and that something was wrong with me because it didn’t.

So, if you are like me and struggle with feeling inadequate, and feel like perhaps your classroom isn’t “pin worthy” – just know you are not alone!

Keep looking at beautifully designed classrooms and always let them inspire you, but never let them make you feel less than.

The truth is, the majority of us (Can I say all? I like to hope all!) are fabulous teachers who want our students to succeed and always try our best in everything we do.

So… what happens when you don’t have a pin-worthy “Pinterest Classroom?”

Nothing. Because it still IS pin-worthy, in its own way, and when your students are old they probably won’t remember your matching labels, but they will remember how you made them feel when they remembered that c says /k/ and figured out how to read a word they thought they couldn’t.

Teachers blessed with a design gene? You inspire me every day – keep doing your pin-worthy pics and posts, and I will keep reading them and enjoying them. Maybe someday it will rub off. πŸ™‚

Latest posts by Alex (see all)


  1. I am pinning it on my new board “You are Enough.” Especially by the end of the school year I have those areas that tend to grow exponentially. Secret…sometimes I box those things up and deal with it later!

  2. I have learned over the years that the children don’t care about your theme. They don’t care about your piles or you messy desk. They want a place that is safe and inviting where they can feel at home. They do spend many hours here. If you’ve ever been to someone’s home that looks like it could be featured in the House Beautiful magazine, you know how you’re afraid you’re going to spill something or break something. Imagine, then a child coming into one of those “staged” classrooms. Do they see all the work you’ve put into it? Do they sit and critique your arrangement? No. They want to find their space and the they want to know when is play time and when is lunch. So don’t fret teachers. Make it bright and cheerful and make it theirs. Welcome them to their school home.

    1. Thank you so much Heather! I definitely have some piles, and am kind of relieved to hear you do too sometimes! πŸ™‚

  3. As usual, thanks for the hilarious spin on a normal teacher’s reality! As you well know, every classroom environment is different, and our circumstances can change weekly, if not daily! It’s nice to be reminded that perfect is not normal, and piles are…. well…. completely necessary if you ask me!

    1. Thank you so much Jessica! Definitely true that our circumstances and situations can change often! My piles seem necessary, because as much as I try to tame them, they have bonded with me. ha!

  4. I LOVED your post and I can relate! I’ve been guilty of feeling the same and what is truly important is….are the children learning and you can find what you are looking for when you need it! Thanks for making me feel not so bad about my room! It has it’s GREAT days and then the uh-oh what happened in here today days! I guess that is just the life of a kinder teacher!

    1. Thank you so much Christy! I am glad you can relate – I agree that the important thing is that the children are learning and enjoying school! I definitely have great days, and also those days where I wonder just what on earth happened? πŸ™‚

  5. So, So, true and well said. I have a set of teetering boxes just like yours. Thanks for the great dose of reality and making all of us feel a little less inadequate. Love your room by the way.

    1. Thank you Debbie! I am glad that you can relate and that I am not the only one who perhaps has a teetering box or two! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your kind words!

  6. Love this post!! It’s so true! First of all, I LOVE your classroom – it’s adorable and I totally think it’s pinworthy. I love your theme and your library is amazing. I really love that you didn’t “stage” it beforehand by picking things up.. I actually think it’s more fun to look at it because it’s so true that it’s easy to look at those perfect classrooms and feel inadequate. Yours is still just as cute but it looks real, like it’s lived in, and I think that actually makes it look better πŸ™‚ I think (hope) other people move or hide their paper / bucket / everything-kids-hand-them-during-the-day piles… because if they don’t really have them then they’re aliens πŸ™‚ ANYWAY, I just wanted to say that I love the message of your post and wholeheartedly agree!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind compliments! You also totally cracked me up with the “they’re aliens” if they don’t have some piles – ha! I am glad some teachers could relate – it makes me feel a bit more normal! πŸ™‚

    1. I am glad you enjoyed the post Mary! Sometimes it is easy to compare ourselves to others, when really we probably all have some areas in our room that we would rather not showcase! Sometimes learning is messy, but it’s ok! πŸ™‚

  7. I love this post Alex! It is so true! You struck a great note of humor and truth. Every teacher gets piles (I think!), and every teacher has a stunning area in the classroom as well (I hope!). But you are correct, the teaching, learning, and academic fun are the most important aspects to any classroom.
    Kindergarten Planet

    1. Thanks so much Suzanne! I am so glad some teachers could relate! I like to think we are all a bit of a mix too, although I know I could improve in the organization area! πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *