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How I Am Using Pinterest to Support My Teachers

So . . . this is not a normal post. No Jesus stuff. No gooey feelings. No wistful doubting. Today I give you a peek into my professional life . . . and into my relationship with Pinterest.

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I’ve planned four parties using Pinterest (see my Rainbow Art Party, Spy Party, Rock Star Party, and Ninjago Party boards), and the process of doing so was frustrating. I’ve had cakes collapse, spent a huge amount of money on party favors only to have a handful of kids show up, and paid for a fancy cake to be made only to have it taste terrible. All the parties turned out fine, but they cost me a lot of worrying about everything being perfect.

One of my top pins. Go figure.
One of my top pins. Go figure.

Pinterest has a way of making me lose self-esteem. I just can’t keep up with the crafty/cake decorating/uber-organized mamas out there. (Seriously, folks. If you want my help planning a party, I’m great at games. But not at decor. Or cakes.)

My most used board is Recipes. Many of my boards go unused, though, and so I actually created a board called Stuff I’ve Actually Done! where I re-pin things I’ve done (again, mostly recipes) and comment on how they turned out.

Mine weren't this pretty.
Mine weren’t this pretty.

But . . . over the weekend I envisioned a way to curate (<—- Look! I used a fancy-schmancy word!) my Pinterest boards to help out my teachers. I work as an instructional coach for a school district, and I am assigned to three elementary schools. In two of those schools, I meet with teachers weekly to plan lessons and units. My goal is to ensure that our English Learners have access to grade level content and develop English, so I’m constantly advocating for best practices for ELs and trying to be supportive of teachers who instruct these students.

Previously I had a handful of Pinterest boards related to teaching: A general “Teaching” board, a Thinking Maps (graphic organizers) board, and a SIOP (framework for teaching ELs) board. That was it.

Now I have reorganized my boards so that they are much more user-friendly:

Teaching Reading

Teaching Writing

Phonics and Word Study

Teaching Social Studies

Teaching Science

Teaching Tips and Organization  (Ryan Gosling meme included – you’re welcome!)

Center Ideas

Easter eggs + CVC words = WIN!
Easter eggs + CVC words = WIN!

I also have Math boards based on Common Core categories:

Counting and Cardinality

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Numbers and Operations in Base Ten

Numbers and Operations in Fractions

Geometry

Measurement and Data

Place value snake
Place value snake

Lastly, I separated my SIOP board into several different boards, grouping similar SIOP Components together:

SIOP Lesson Preparation

SIOP Building Background and Comprehensible Input

SIOP Strategies and Interaction

SIOP Practice and Application

SIOP Review and Assessment

Cool Science foldable!
Cool Science foldable!

Some of these boards only have one or two pins so far, but I will be adding as I go along. Some of my pins are actually pinned in more than one place – for example, both in Number and Operations and in Center Ideas. I haven’t adjusted my Thinking Maps board yet, but I hope to double-pin some of those ideas onto my Reading and Math boards.

So here’s my take on Pinterest: Don’t let it make you feel like you’re less than. You don’t have to do all the cutesy things perfectly. You don’t have to do the cutesy things at all, if you don’t want to. (But if you’re a crafty, cutesy person, by all means, go for it! I will sit back and enjoy your creations while sitting on my butt stuffing myself with Nirvana Meatballs.) Use Pinterest to your advantage. Don’t let it smack you down. Take control and use it to enhance your life in ways that are important to you.

How do you use Pinterest to support and simplify your life? 

2 comments

  1. I tried to sign up for Pinterest recently (because one of my idols, Diane Keaton, loves it) and my computer said I had to download some app to make it work. Well, the app “took over” my home page, added a toolbar I didn’t want, and it took me an hour to figure out how to get rid of the app. So when I saw your post today I decided (for some reason) to try again and voila! I’m in. WHO KNOWS why all that other mess happened. Anyway, I know I don’t need another internet distraction, but I’m curious, so here goes….

    • kksorrell says:

      I am sorry to hear what happened the first time! It is a great place to collect quotes and ideas. It can be overwhelming, though!

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