Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Pros and Cons
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Slice of Life: Pros and Cons

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hLeave it to Franki Sibberson to create a logo of a quote you said and text it to you while you are still presenting …. talk about intimidating. My first response was, “Did I really say that?” Quickly followed by, “Please don’t tweet that!”


I didn’t want my words to be taken out of context or misinterpreted in a judgmental way. I am on Pinterest. I create Pinterest boards. Who am I to judge?  I worry that it, and many other virtual resources, have become more than a tool at times. While we think it may be helpful it can actually become overwhelming.  There are pros and cons.


I think it is a great resource.

I think it is important to use as a tool to get ideas and inspire.

I think it is a great way to collaborate and share.



I think you can lose hours thinking you are planning.

I think you walk away with too much and still not have enough.

I think you can miss the purpose and meaning in someone else’s chart.


I think it is helps us organize.

I think it shows us how to model thinking for children.

I think it has great examples of charts to scaffold students.



I think it can clutter our classroom walls.

I think it can cause lack of instructional cohesion in a school.

I think it can confuse children when we have too many ways.


I think it can make us feel confident.

I think it can convince us there is a quick fix.

I think it can make teaching look clean and perfect.



I think it ultimately causes us to question and doubt.

I think it convinces us to look outside rather than within.

I think it can remove children from the process.


Am I going to stop using Pinterest? No. But I am thinking about HOW I use it!

  • Time Limit – give yourself 10-20 minutes tops. Anything more than that will most likely distract you from what you are doing or leave you overwhelmed.
  • Mentor Text – use what you see as a mentor. Study it, reflect on it and then create your own! It will always be more meaningful when you create your own version.
  • Construct It – make anchor charts with students. When we include our students in the process of making the tools, they will understand their purpose and how to use them more effectively.

How are you using virtual resources?  What do you think about the pros and cons of so many resources readily available at all times?


Thank you to StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnnaBeth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for us to share our stories each day in March.  Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts and consider joining this community

  • Kimberley Moran
    Posted at 10:41h, 30 March Reply

    I love the juxtaposition of text in this. I empathized with your thinking all the way through.

  • Franki
    Posted at 10:44h, 30 March Reply

    One of my favorite quotes:-)

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 11:18h, 30 March Reply

      Thanks — I have been thinking about it since we talked. Took me some time to think through why I said it — so I gave it go. Thank you for always pushing my thinking.

  • Fran
    Posted at 11:38h, 30 March Reply

    I so love the comparison of two views. I see so much “time wasted” on Pinterest by folks who bemoan “I don’t have time” to try this strategy. It’s all in the choices of how to spend time!

  • Mindi Rench
    Posted at 12:54h, 30 March Reply

    I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately, getting ideas for (mostly) elementary classrooms as I prepare for my big switch to third grade. I’ve got some ideas for what I want my classroom to look and feel like in the fall, but I also start to get sad from some of the stuff I see. There are a lot of examples of bad instructional practice there, and a lot of copyright violation in the links to TpT stores. As a veteran of 22 years and a lit coach, I know what to look for and what to avoid, but what about new teachers?

  • Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 13:39h, 30 March Reply

    Oh yes, the Pinterest curriculum. Reminds me of the quote Everything in moderation. I too worry about those who take these resources as tested and approved! Thanks for the reminder of using caution with any resource online or otherwise.

  • Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 13:50h, 30 March Reply

    There are some lines here that I really love: “I think you walk away with too much and still not have enough. I think it convinces us to look outside rather than within. I think it can remove children from the process.”
    These are the thoughts of a wise and experienced teacher.

  • Andrea Payan
    Posted at 16:52h, 30 March Reply

    This is such a powerful reflection. I think there are so many great resources and ideas out there, but a lot of times it is too much. I sometimes find myself spending way more time searching for just the right thing than I would have spent just making it to begin with. I like your guidelines for Pinterest. Using things as mentor texts for our purposes makes a lot of sense.

  • Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 16:54h, 30 March Reply

    A two-voice poem, Clare. And yes, you do walk away with too much and not enough.
    Your advice to make up your own chart reminds me of T.S. Eliot who said something like “Mediocre poets copy; great poets steal.” I think stealing means “make it your own.” Thanks, Clare.

    • Clare and Tammy
      Posted at 18:53h, 30 March Reply

      I didn’t even think of it as a poem — bonus for me! I have been trying to write more poetry. I was trying for see saw structure, but I see how it is also a poem. Thanks for noticing and naming for me. Love the T.S. Eliot quote. Clare

  • Tara
    Posted at 23:00h, 30 March Reply

    Ugh. I see the Pinterestification of way too many classrooms and lessons…I’ve kind of given up on it. But, you show the positive side,too – worth considering ,for sure.

  • Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 00:54h, 31 March Reply

    I also love the structure of this piece – like a pro/con list. You present great points for both sides. I never got started with Pinterest but as with everything else, I’m sure it get out of control easily. You give great suggestions for using it wisely.

  • Melanie Meehan
    Posted at 01:49h, 31 March Reply

    Oh wow, this is a great post. We are living in the land of Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers and whatever else they can find and we are not always in the land of really, really understanding. I don’t always know how to move people into the deeper realms of understanding because everything comes at us so fast and furious.

  • Larkin Meehan
    Posted at 02:06h, 31 March Reply

    I find myself going on Pinterest to check out “just one” art piece and get lost in a world of talented people- which sometimes is fun but often doesn’t do much when it comes to benefitting me and my art! I have found that this is true not only with Pinterest, but all forms of social media. One thing leads to the next… I always need to be careful and remember to take everything in moderation.

  • Dalila Eckstein
    Posted at 02:33h, 31 March Reply

    Your posts are wonderfully thought-provoking. The weighing of benefits and pitfalls, back and forth, was effective. One line stood straight out for me: “I think it convinces us to look outside rather than within.” Looking within, trusting what we know about our students, the content we teach, and the practices we know are best, will help us select what is valuable and design what we need. Thank you for sharing your thinking. It always gets me thinking!

  • Elisa Waingort
    Posted at 03:04h, 31 March Reply

    I don’t spend a lot of time on Pinterest, though I have a few boards and will occasionally find something to pin on an already existing board or a new one. I think that there is so much out there with regards to social media that it’s hard to keep track. I get excited and overwhelmed all at the same time. I try to use Twitter and Twitter chats regularly. They give me the most bang for my buck. Voxer is my new preferred social media app, though it can easily consume you if you don’t watch out. Isn’t it all about balance and purpose? I think that’s what your poem for two voices was all about. Thanks for posting this! A lot of food for thought.

  • Karen Terlecky
    Posted at 23:45h, 31 March Reply

    Cracking up that Franki made that logo for you!
    Pinterest is such a time drain for me. 10-20 minutes never happens. It’s not that I’m spending all my time on educational things either. I find that once I begin, I am pulled down one rabbit hole after another (clothing, house decorations, food, recipes, gardening, etc, etc).
    Love how you presented the 2 sides of Pinterest in verse 🙂


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