The Culture of Cute in the Classroom
I read this post recently as someone I follow somewhere shared it (can’t remember who or where but hat tip to the mystery sharer). It’s worth reading and thinking about. I use a site called Teachers Pay Teachers to find resources/displays every now and then. Most resources/displays there seem to have such an emphasis on cuteness rather than usefulness or effectiveness. Do students really appreciate or benefit from polka dots, monsters, dinosaurs, Spongebob or whatever “cutified” craze comes along next? And don’t get me started on cute fonts!
Don’t get me wrong, having nice displays in the classroom is fine, but the focus should surely be on their educational effectivity.
An example of a cute classroom that would drive me insane (and I might well be alone in this) can be seen here. I’m sure the teacher in question is an excellent educator, and clearly huge effort has been made to create a bright and attractive space, but does it make that space a better classroom? In my opinion, it does not. If anything, many students could be at risk of distraction or overstimulation. There is a lot to be said for keeping things simple! A friendly nature and an interesting lesson will keep kids happy and engaged.