Since the early days of social media, teachers have commonly kept their profiles private in the name of professionalism. However, with the ever-evolving world of technology, many educators have now found solace and inspiration in the online teaching community. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have transformed the way teachers use social media, serving as content hubs to share resources and experiences.
MSTA member Christina Lee dove head-first into this realm of online creativity when she started her teacher Instagram account last summer. In just over a year, the account (@mrslee.onadaily) has amassed over 5,100 followers – most of which are fellow teachers from across the world.
“I realized what a huge impact the ‘teacher-gram’ community has,” Lee said. “It really inspired me with new ideas for my classroom, behavior management, and more. I just saw so many great things that could really help me build the classroom community that I wanted and do what’s best for my students.”
Lee began her career teaching third grade in Diamond, Missouri before moving on to teach fourth grade in the Carthage district for two years. She recently started as a fourth-grade teacher at Central Elementary in the Neosho district, which will become a STEAM Academy next year. With the goal of transforming her new classroom into a second home for her students, Lee will continue to consult her favorite online resources.
“I’ve learned so many things from other teachers out there in the world and gotten some great tips that I never thought of using,” Lee said. Within the online teacher community, it is easy to find and share ideas about a wide array of topics, from organization tricks to DIY classroom tips and behavior management tools. One of her favorite projects to do each year is the student photo wall, as inspired by esteemed educator Ron Clark.
“Each student chooses a word that is important to them, along with a quote and a mission,” Lee said. “I then take a picture of each student and combine their photo with their word, quote and mission to create an amazing display of all the wonderful leaders in our class.”
Another of her popular classroom decorations is the “meme of the week” poster, which is regularly updated with a photo depicting a humorous – yet relevant– concept for students to enjoy. These interactive ideas are documented on Lee’s Instagram account to inspire others, keeping to a schedule of at least one or two posts per week.
“I want to use my teaching journey to inspire young people to take an interest in the teaching field and share my ideas out,” she said. “Another thing that I love sharing on my account is typical good and bad days that teachers might have. I'm glad that I can share my journey and have the support from other teachers that can relate to me.”
Followers can also gain a peek at her personal life through posts about travel and what it’s like to be a first-generation Hmong American.
“I wanted to find other educators out there who could relate to or be a mentor for me,” Lee said. “I'm so thankful to have come across many Asian Pacific Islander educators that have helped me to better myself or just have some things in common.”
Lee feels that having an active online presence has helped her grow as a young educator and hopes to keep producing content that will make a difference in her classroom and beyond. Connect with her on Instagram at @mrslee.onadaily to stay up to date with her newest teaching tips and inspirational experiences.