When I first started teaching I took over the school’s Twitter account with the aim of posting puzzles and challenges for students. I quickly realised that not many students use Twitter, so I looked for another way to engage using social media. I set up an Instagram account, initially to share photos from a school trip to Paris, and this helped us to get a few followers!
I then began promoting our social media accounts in lessons and parents’ evenings so that I could start posing challenges and competitions, but I found it difficult to attract interest until I ran a competition with a class to design creative posters, and the quality and creativity blew me away so much that I wanted to show them off. I uploaded photos onto Instagram and the response was fantastic, students were engaging with their work outside of the lesson. I found that students loved having their work broadcast and I had them asking if their work could be posted so that others could see it. Now I also regularly take pictures during of students working hard during the lesson – some don’t like being on the pictures so I take a snap of their work instead.
I started following Matthew Burton on Twitter a few years ago – you may remember him as the English teacher from Channel 4’s Educating Yorkshire. One of the things I really liked was that he used #errantapostophewednesday where he would post pictures showing incorrect use of apostrophes, usually on shop signs, menus etc. I took inspiration from this to start #badmathsmonday after a trip to Tesco where I saw this ‘offer’:
Now I try to post a picture a week, sometimes spotting them myself, sometimes relying on the internet, and even sometimes having them submitted by students! So if you find any yourself, make sure you use the hashtag!