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Gone are the days where what happened in the classroom, stayed in the classroom. Modern, tech-savvy teachers are taking to Instagram to share their latest innovations, classroom decorations and learning demonstrations with a network of parents and their teaching peers.

It’s a phenomenon.

It’s such a phenomenon, in fact, that the Sydney Morning Herald recently profiled some of the teachers turning your Instagram feed into an explosion of colour and craft. The heroes making learning “fun” again.

These teachers spend hours upon hours – of their own, unpaid time, might we add – coming up with clever ways to engage their students and really drive home the lessons of the week. Whether it’s politeness or percentages, it seems there’s nothing a poster adorned with Bitmojis (the personalised cartoons made popular by Snapchat) can’t teach.

So, we thought we’d shine a light on some of the local tech-savvy teachers expanding the minds of kids in our local area, asking them how Instagram has changed their career for the better.

Meet Ronnie, from Brisbane
She started her teaching Instagram @missduncanson in January 2017.

Q: What do you love most about the Instagram teaching community?
I love that everyone is so willing to share their ideas and experiences! It’s a great way to find new things to try in your classroom. And on bad days, it’s comforting to see you’re not alone.

Q: Do you think that sharing your teaching experience, and learning about the teaching experiences of others through Instagram, has made you a better teacher? How?
Absolutely! Every time I open up Instagram, I am flooded with new ideas and strategies to use in the classroom! Some of my most effective behaviour management strategies were learnt on Instagram! I also find that my general well-being has improved as I feel part of an expansive support network!

Q: What is the coolest teaching tip you’ve learned from Instagram?
Hmm… That’s a hard one! I’ve learned so much. At the moment I’m loving the use of teacher Bitmoji pictures in the classroom. It’s a cute little personal touch and the kids love it! I have a few posters that use my Bitmoji – the kids think they’re hilarious!

Meet Courtney, from the Gold Coast
She’s been sharing her life as a teacher on Instagram at @life.in.the.classroom for a little over a year.

Q: What do you love most about the Instagram teaching community?
I love seeing others’ ideas and sharing my own. I enjoy receiving love and feedback and helping to inspire others teach in a fun and engaging way.

Q: Do you think that sharing your teaching experience, and learning about the teaching experiences of others through Instagram, has made you a better teacher? How?
Instagram gives me inspiration to continue coming up with new and exciting ways to teach content. It makes me want to find new and fun ways to engage children. I really enjoy posting to inspire others and I feel that this has made me a better teacher.

Q: What is the coolest teaching tip you’ve learned from Instagram?
The coolest teaching tip I have learnt from Instagram is to keep my teaching fresh and fun for all my students.

Meet Georgia, from Brisbane
While she’s had her own personal Instagram since 2010, she created her teaching Instagram – @teach.tea.type – during her second year of teaching in 2016 but didn’t start posting regularly until 2017.

Q: What do you love most about the Instagram teaching community?
I love seeing how everyone supports each other. I returned to Brisbane just over a year ago after completing my country service and I found it hard to settle into a new place, grade and school. I had so much support from fellow teachers who understood that sort of stress and were happy to be a listening ear or suggested ideas. I’ve even since made friends with some fantastic teachers in person who I originally met through Instagram. Teaching is such a multi-faceted career and there is so much going on beneath the surface that being a part of a community of people who understand your challenges and triumphs is so impactful.

Q: Do you think that sharing your teaching experience, and learning about the teaching experiences of others through Instagram, has made you a better teacher? How?
I think sharing ideas and reflecting on your own practise, regardless of it is on Instagram or through another forum, does help you stay current and improve your pedagogy. With Instagram, there is the chance to do this quickly, constantly and with an extremely large group of professionals. When I found out that I was changing grades last year, I was able to follow a tag of Australian Year 6 teachers and instantly I could see how hundreds of teachers were interacting with the curriculum. I had teachers reaching out to me to share their resources and share tips about managing grade-specific things. I get to see such a wide variety of teachers and schools constantly and I feel like that has helped me have a strong understanding of current educational trends.

Q: What is the coolest teaching tip you’ve learned from Instagram?
I always really enjoy the small organisation/preparation tips which end up being huge time savers. The one I always think of at the beginning of every year is that if you are laminating cut-out items you should use glue to stick them to the laminating sheet before you feed it through – a revelation! In all seriousness though, the biggest tip I have learnt is that we are all different people, in different schools with vastly different kids, yet we are united in a common goal. Build others other up as educators, work to share the load and maintain a work/life balance so you can be the best version of yourself for the students.

Anastasia White

Anastasia White  

Anastasia (‘Anny’ to her friends and family, thanks to some nickname experimentation in year 4 that unfortunately stuck) is a born-and-bred Brisbanite with a love of coffee and her cat, Olive. Having recently finished a degree in journalism, Anastasia loves being able to learn and write about so many different topics for a variety of audiences.