In the Classroom

Teachers on Instagram: The Top Reasons You Should Be One

Professional development is a staple in the education sector, with many states mandating a certain number of hours each year. Despite meeting these requirements, not all programs offer the practical benefits educators hope for.  Educators invest significant time in these sessions, which should be immediately applicable in their classrooms. While some courses offer valuable insights, an untapped resource lies in social media, such as teacher Instagram, a powerful tool available to every educator.

Interestingly, the blend of teaching and social media might be the most effective professional development tool yet.

Social media’s role in education can sometimes be controversial due to strict policies regarding personal social media usage in many districts. These regulations aim to protect students, a necessity given the occasional reports of inappropriate teacher-student interactions. However, when used professionally, not personally, social media opens a world of educational possibilities, from theoretical discussions to practical classroom activities.

Why Do I Need a Teaching-Only Social Media Account?

Having a social media account as a teacher opens up a world of creative inspiration and resource sharing that can significantly enhance educational practices. For instance, elementary school principals and teachers from kindergarten to middle school can access a trove of lesson ideas curated by their peers.

An Instagram page dedicated to education becomes a great resource, especially for examples like first and second grade teachers looking for fun ideas to engage young learners. Teacher influencers, such as experienced English and ELA teachers, regularly share book suggestions and teaching hacks, which are particularly valuable for those new to the profession or those seeking fresh approaches.

Social media also allows teachers to become part of a global community of lifelong learners who are passionate about education. Platforms like Instagram provide an ideal space for teacher influencers to share successful classroom management strategies and cute ideas that have worked well with older students and younger children alike. By following the Instagram feed of a former teacher or a recognized best teacher, educators can find daily posts filled with actionable tips and creative inspiration that can be directly applied in their classrooms.

Overwhelmed teacher on left; confident teacher utilizing social media on right
The difference between trying to organize the ideas and then seeing them in action: social media

Moreover, for teachers in specialized roles, such as a kindergarten teacher or a 1st grade teacher, social media offers tailored content that can enhance how they cater to the developmental needs of their students. From sharing teacher hacks that simplify complex ideas to displaying fun ideas that keep students engaged, social media serves as a bridge connecting passionate educators across different educational stages. Whether it’s a middle school teacher sharing innovative project-based learning ideas or a second grade teacher showcasing how to turn a routine lesson into an exciting inquiry-based activity, these platforms foster a collaborative and supportive teaching environment.

Here’s why teachers should consider social media from a professional perspective:

  1. Engagement with Families: Having a classroom Instagram account, for example, can excite parents. It offers them a window into their children’s education, enhancing communication and trust. By sharing snapshots of daily activities (without revealing students’ faces), parents can engage more deeply with their children’s learning experiences.
  2. Professional Development: Social media can be an exceptional professional development tool. Platforms like Twitter allow teachers to connect globally, exchange ideas, and seek advice on diverse educational topics. This broader network enriches teaching practices more than traditional professional development sessions.

Preferred Social Media Platforms for Educators

Choosing the right social media platform can initially seem overwhelming given the plethora of options available, each with its unique strengths and community dynamics. The key to navigating this choice effectively lies in understanding what you aim to achieve through your online presence. If your goal is to find a vibrant community for sharing interactive classroom activities and visual inspirations, Instagram might be the platform for you.

Two teachers looking at a phone for classroom ideas

On the other hand, if you’re looking to engage in in-depth educational discussions and professional networking, Twitter could provide the robust dialogue and connections you seek. For educators interested in collecting and organizing teaching resources and creative classroom ideas, Pinterest offers an excellent visual bookmarking tool. Ultimately, selecting a social media platform should align with your professional development goals, the type of content you wish to consume, and the nature of the interaction you hope to have with fellow educators.

Let’s break down the most common platforms that you will benefit from:

  • Twitter: Twitter has proven to be a game-changer for many teachers, helping them build a Professional Learning Network (PLN) and participate in educational chats (EdChats) that foster dynamic learning and sharing among educators.
  • Instagram: Often touted as the best platform for teachers, Instagram allows educators to showcase classroom activities and connect with parents effectively. Teachers like Michelle Griffo and Joanne Miller utilize Instagram to share teaching tips, book recommendations, and creative classroom ideas, making it an invaluable resource for educators looking to enhance their teaching methods and classroom management.
  • TikTok: Emerging as a dynamic and engaging platform, TikTok offers teachers a unique way to share short, impactful videos that can make learning fun and memorable. It’s particularly effective for reaching younger audiences, such as middle and high school students, who appreciate the platform’s fast-paced and entertaining content style. Educators can use TikTok to demonstrate quick teaching tips, share motivational messages, or even showcase classroom projects and experiments in action, tapping into the trend of visual learning and instant communication.
  • Teacher-Specific Facebook Groups: Facebook remains a crucial platform for educators due to its widespread use and the ability to create closed groups where teachers can share resources, seek advice, and collaborate on educational challenges. These groups provide a secure environment for educators to discuss sensitive issues, exchange lesson plans, and connect with peers who have similar interests or teaching subjects.

    The versatility of Facebook also allows for the integration of various media types—videos, documents, polls, and discussions—all of which enhance the sharing and learning experience among its members….but be careful: in my experience, Facebook Groups can turn into a giant complaint fest quickly!

If you’re not as much interested in the interaction component, you may also consider: 

  • YouTube: Known for its vast range of content, YouTube is invaluable for educators seeking instructional videos and tutorials. It serves as both a learning resource for teachers and an engaging educational tool for students.
  • Pinterest: This platform acts as a digital bulletin board where teachers can pin and share educational resources and classroom inspiration. Contrary to its initial female-centric audience, Pinterest has evolved to include a diverse range of topics, making it a significant resource for all educators.

Why My Preference is Teacher Instagram

Educators on Instagram provide a constant stream of inspiration through their posts. They offer a plethora of activity ideas, inspirational quotes, and classroom design tips that resonate with fellow teachers across grade levels, from kindergarten to high school.

My Instagram Feed with a button to follow my account

The integration of social media in education is not just about sharing ideas; it’s about building a community of passionate educators who support and inspire each other throughout the school year. Whether it’s sharing lesson plans, classroom hacks, or cute bulletin board ideas, social media platforms offer a wealth of resources that can transform teaching practices and classroom environments.

In conclusion, social media is not just a professional development tool but a vibrant community of lifelong learners eager to share and grow together. For those new to this digital landscape, platforms like Instagram not only provide immediate access to a network of like-minded professionals but also offer the potential to significantly influence educational practices and student engagement.

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After moving from a teacher-dominated classroom to a truly student-centered one, Jenn found herself helping colleagues who wanted to follow her lead.  In 2018 she decided to expand outside of her school walls and help those out there who were also trying to figure out this fantastic method of instruction to ignite intrinsic motivation in their students.  Read more about her journey with Student-Centered World at

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