Social media is an ingrained part of most of our lives. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, it’s hard to keep up. Adding to the challenge, as a middle school teacher I have to balance the effectiveness of social media for students, colleagues and parents. Each group has their preferred social media outlets.
Last year I started a classroom Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat account for my classroom activities. I posted pictures of the students actively engaged in amazing activities and shared about upcoming events.
Twitter was great for sharing my activities to other teachers and school personnel. But students and parents weren’t very active in this space. I already use it for my professional activities and this tied in nicely with that.
Instagram was great for engaging with students and sharing their hard work with their peers. Many of the students interacted in this space, sharing positive comments when students won awards and enjoyed reliving some of the craziness that is room 502.
I couldn’t get into Snapchat. The students are in that space and enjoyed my posts, but when I post something I want it to be more permanent than Snapchat which disappears after 24 hours.
This year my goal is to dive into Facebook for my classroom. I’m hoping more parents will be engaged in this space. Personally, I spend more time than I should checking my Facebook feed, and I think there are plenty of parents that feel the same way.
I created two Facebook pages, not accounts but pages. I made the mistake of creating a new account at first but realized this wouldn’t accomplish the right goals. A page allows you to control what people see and doesn’t give access to your personal Facebook account. I don’t care if parents see my personal account, but most of them are more interested in what’s happening in the classroom and less interested in the pictures of my adorable children I’m constantly sharing.
One page is a professional account for me to share my blog posts, interesting articles I come across and share the same awesome classroom photos that I share on my Instagram and Twitter accounts. In a future post I’ll share how I post to multiple platforms at once. I’ll probably share this Facebook page in more professional settings with other educators, when I present at conferences, etc. However, I’d gladly welcome any parent who would like to see my teaching philosophy.
The second page I created is a classroom page. On this page I’ll share the same Instagram photos from the other account. I’ll also post event information, announcements, etc. I’m debating posting some parenting articles I find too, but I don’t want it to come across as too preachy. The goal of those articles would be to encourage parents to read with their kids and keep them up-to-date on the technology their kids are using.
We’ll see how this goes. I’m hoping it will help me reach more educators, parents and students. If you’ve used Facebook for your own classroom, please share any tips or tricks to help make it successful.