Pink in classroom…GASP!!!!
I am so so so excited to answer this question…finally. We all have different tastes and personal styles…this makes our world so wonderful, right? But create a classroom with pink and all of a sudden, the claws come out! Pink can make some people downright ANGRY. For the most part, I get really nice, positive comments on my blog, Instagram, and Facebook (these mean the world to me, by the way) but…create a room centered around the color PINK and I always need to brace my self and get some thick skin because it never fails, I always get some mean comments.
I should also mention that my feelings DO get hurt. I’m human too.
PINK. Why are people so afraid of it?
I’m going to tell you a story, then get on with my thoughts… About four years ago, I found hot pink fadeless paper and fell in LOVE with it! In all my years of teaching, I never saw anyone use this before, so I was going to be the FIRST (I love to be different) and have the happiest, brightest room in the school! I bought lots of yellow Bordette and decided I would frame my pink paper with it…I can’t even explain the pure joy I felt all summer dreaming of this space (yes, color makes me unusually happy).
So, the very first day that I could get into my classroom to decorate, I was there bright and early with my hot pink paper and yellow Bordette. I spent the entire morning skipping, dancing, and savoring every moment with my pink paper as I happily draped it over every available wall space (I’m exaggerating a little). About three hours into my euphoria, a friend stopped by to see my room. I excitedly pointed out the paper and asked if she liked it. To my surprise, she blurted out “NO.” She preceded to tell me that if she had a son in my room that she would be MAD. What??? She didn’t stop. She kept repeating herself. I’m not kidding…this paper made her angry.
I just couldn’t understand it. Pink is JUST a color. I quickly learned that pink terrifies some people.
Here is a picture of that room…
I see this same reaction on my blog. Yes, I know….we associate PINK with girls. Who came up with that??? We also associate BLUE with boys. I really want to know…who came up with that too??? So, if I decorate a classroom in BLUE, do you think that I’m offending the girls? Why is blue acceptable, but pink isn’t?
Let me tell you, when I used my pink paper in my classroom (I got a ton of compliments, by the way), not ONE boy said anything about it! I used other colors as well: turquoise, lime green, coral, yellow, blue, light pink, and lavender. It was such a fun and happy space. In fact, I remember people telling me that they would stop by my room whenever they were having a bad day because it felt so good!
To this day, I still can’t get over my friend’s reaction and will probably remember it forever. From my experience, the kids could care less about the colors you use…it’s the ADULTS that are offended by pink. As a parent, I don’t push pink on my girls…one daughter likes it, the other doesn’t. Who cares? My 17 year old son (who happens to be ALL boy) wears pink. Should I discourage him from wearing it because it’s a “girl” color? I don’t.
Pink is just a color…(big sigh)
I do have some general guidelines for using pink in a classroom (remember, this is just my opinion… of course, you can do whatever you want!)
1. Preschool – Kindergarten: I think classrooms for small children should be happy and fun. Include polka dots, lots of bright colors, hang colorful art work all over the room, and yes, pink can be included. On a side note, I once saw a Kindergarten classroom decorated in hot pink, black, damask, and blinged out…it felt too “high schoolish” to me and just felt wrong for little children. I would never recommend that.
Here is Maria Manore’s Kindergarten Classroom (Kinder-Craze blog) and it’s the perfect example of how a Kindergarten classroom (with pink) should look. I love this!
Maria used my Rainbow Chalkboard theme. For more photos click HERE…
2. 1st-4th grade: Teachers can choose whatever theme or color scheme they would like. I still think little ones need fun and playful environments. When we start using sophisticated patterns and color combinations with little children, it just doesn’t feel right to me. You can use pink in a classroom, but keep the patterns light hearted, cutesy and combine it with lots of other colors. When I decorated Karen Marinelli’s classroom in Oklahoma, she asked for a black, hot pink, turquoise, and a lime green color combo for her first graders…that was completely fine. To see more photos, click HERE…
5th grade – high school: As kids get older, I think it is perfectly acceptable to start decorating with the teacher’s style preference. Patterns, colors, and designs can be more sophisticated. Themes tend to fade out (although they can still be used) and teacher’s decorate more with color schemes.
To see more of these photos, click HERE…
*When I was teaching at my first school, I remember the 5th grade teacher was obsessed with the color purple. Everything in her room was purple. Her students loved that about her and often bought her purple accessories to display in her room. Everyone in the school had so much fun with this! No one was offended, not even the boys. In fact, she was the most requested teacher in the school!
So, if you want a pink/black room – go for it! You can have so much fun decorating your room to express your personality!
Okay…I’m getting off my soapbox now. Pink can be such a great color, we just need to stop associating it with a gender! For all of you brave people that aren’t afraid to use it, I applaud you! WOOHOO!