In August 2020, I was thrilled to start my teaching career. As every teacher knows, the beginning stages were filled with blood, sweat, and tears to get my classroom ready. I was arriving at school early and leaving late in the summer time because I was prepping the never-ending list of things needed to be ready before the school year began.
I Never Imagined My Social Media Accounts Would Change My Life
Because I was spending long hours in my classroom by myself (sometimes in the dark) I was a little afraid and lonely. I pulled out my phone and started recording instagram stories talking about the things I was doing to set up my classroom (mostly for me so I would remember the next year.) Slowly, I began connecting with other teachers through #teachergram.
At the time I am posting this, I have over 150,000 friends following along my teaching journey. It still literally blows my mind thinking that this all started because I was talking to myself on my phone in my empty classroom. You never know what will come from sharing your story. Every post on my account has been a series of trial and error. I have learned a few things along the way for those who are wanting to start a social media platform of their own.
Best Tips for Teachergram Accounts:
- Be authentic. Share both the highs and the lows of the things you are going through, these kind of posts get the most engagement.
- You want friends that are going to stick around and connect with you, not followers. There are plenty of people who can tell you how to get tons of followers quickly…I honestly don’t know how to do that. Slow and steady growth is much better because you are able to connect with your audience.
- Provide value to your audience. If you wouldn’t like it, don’t post it. Don’t worry about the things your followers want, if you post the things that you love – you’ll find your people.
- Be brave. I still remember how incredibly awkward I felt talking to myself on instagram stories in the beginning. I still get a little shy when I’m filming in front of other people. (This works out well though, because I film my reels and TikToks after my contract time at school is over and my colleagues have left the building.)
- If you’re excited about something, share it. My favorite part about #teachergram is that it is a community of collaboration instead of competition. We all cheer each other on. I love sharing ideas I find from other teachers and always make sure I give them credit where credit is due.
BONUS: Don’t compare yourself to others. I know, I know. This is easier said than done. If you need to take a break from social media for a while because you’re caught up in the numbers, it really won’t slow your growth in the long run. Just to give some perspective, I was having a heart-to-heart conversation with a fellow teacher friend after I joined TikTok when we both decided we were going to give it up because we could only focus on the numbers that everyone else had. A few days later, this TikTok I created went (shockingly) viral. I really don’t know how that happened, I still don’t really know how to use that platform – but I’m grateful for the experiences it has given me.
Everyone’s experiences will look different, but don’t be afraid to go for it if it’s something you want to try!