Why I Follow Teachers on Social Media and I Think You Should Too

Friday, June 1, 2018

As a school based SLP, I have seen the most growth in my practice as an SLP in the last few years. I attribute a large part of that to insight I have gleamed from teachers that I have "met" online. I know, it sounds crazy. If I were reading this post from another SLP prior to this discovery, I would be skeptical, for sure.

Humor me as we work this out mathematically (gotta add data after all). For the sake of this example, let's just say you see a student 60 minutes per week. Somewhat typical amount for us, right? Well, that means there are 10,020 minutes that we are NOT seeing them each week. How are they spending that time? The school week has approximately 2,100 minutes (based upon a 7 hour school day). Take out 30 minutes out each day for lunch, 30 minutes for specials such as art, music, gym, etc., and don't forget about our 60 min/week for speech and you are left with 1,740 minutes. 1,740 minutes that they are spending with their teacher.  That is 29 times the amount of time that they spend with us each week! Now I realize that there may be additional pull out times thrown in there but wow, that is staggering.

So now what? Well, to best support our students and see the most growth, doesn't it behoove us to take a peek into what those 1,740 minutes may look like? In a perfect world, we would be in and out of classrooms observing, collaborating with teachers from all grade levels and consistently having in depth discussions about every student. In reality though, that would leave us with no time for actual treatment. Please don't misunderstand, you should absolutely be collaborating and having rich discussions with your teacher colleagues within your workplace; however, those discussions and what you learn from them does not have to stop there.

Summer of 2015 opened a whole new world for me as I discovered some amazing teachers on social media. I slowly started to follow a few, then a few more as I found that I learned so much from their insight! I was learning more about both what my students were expected to do but also how I could help them reach said expectations.  Three years later, I find that I am truly a better SLP having learned (and continuing to learn) from these remarkable educators. Instagram has quickly become my favorite platform for following many educators. I particularly love the Instagram Stories feature. I follow a ton of teachers now, but here is a snapshot of some of my favorite accounts (in no particular order) and what I love about them.

Just a Primary Girl - Aly is a first grade teacher and mama to a first grader that receives speech-language services. She adapts many ideas within her classroom to meet the needs of students requiring special education services and offers valuable insight from the other side of the table as a Mom. I love her heart that she wears on her sleeve, her evident passion for education and you will undoubtedly fall in love with her precious son.
Speechie tidbit you may enjoy from Just a Primary Girl: Centers, Organization and Gift Ideas

BabblingAbby - I love following this beautiful teacher's educational and personal journey. Abby also opens her home to you as you get to know her whole family including her daughter who was born premature with medical needs and receives speech therapy. Having met Abby over the summer, I can say that she is just as sweet in "real life".
Speechie tidbit you may enjoy from Babbling Abby: free Literacy Center Posters

Hope King- This girl's room transformations are to die for! Hope and her husband Wade work at the Ron Clark academy and their passion for education is contagious. I love a good room transformation and this girl blows them out of the water!
Speechie Tidbit:  The Wild Card by Hope and Wade King is a great read for any educator, including SLPs! (affiliate link)

Primary Cornerstone - Not only is Kay fun and entertaining, she also offers insight into what it is like to be an English Language Learner growing up. Kay's Instastories are some of my favorites!

MrDtimes3 - Okay, he is just simply hilarious and the fact that he has included his school's SLP in an Instastory from time to time just gives him bonus points in my eyes! You may remember him from the spoof spelling test he gave his students that went viral a couple years back.

Teaching On Less - Kayse is an educator who radiates positivity. I love that about her. She is collaborative by nature and has a fun sense of humor that I enjoy. Her kind hearted spirit will bring a smile to your face.

Luckey Frog - As a parent who was luckey (see what I did there?) enough to have my son in her class, I can attest that Jenny is the real deal. Years later, she is still his favorite teacher. Jenny takes time to invest in developing authentic relationships with her students, even authoring a blog of her summer travels to keep her students learning. I drool just looking at the beautiful hand lettered style  notes that she takes when she attends professional development courses. They definitely put my chicken scratch to shame!

While there are SO MANY other educators that I enjoy following, that should get you started. I'd love to hear who you love to follow. Let me know in the comments below!

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