Tremendously Terrific Tips and Tricks Part 3: Social Media!

Ok y’all…. Some of you are going to LOVE this one and some of you aren’t so much. Which is OK! Remember, take it or leave it, all I ask is that you read with an open mind and open heart! Somethings will work for some people, other things won’t.

Today was the first day of school for kids. It was as messy and chaotic as it always is. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute that my kids were in my classroom! Every single minute. I am going to share two things with you today. I am saving the best for last! 😉


I have a “Teacher” Instagram account. It is a regular account that I use for posting pictures of everything I do in my classroom and for posting when I am at conferences and workshops to keep everyone in the know of how much fun we are having! Every year, I offer my account name up to my students @lamaestraloca. I encourage them to follow me if they want to. I also tell them that IF they want me to follow them back I will. (ALMOST ALWAYS, they want me to).


Reasons Instagram is AWESOME:

  • You get “cool factor” points without trying just because not only do you KNOW what Instagram is but you actually have one
  • You get tons of followers right away which makes you feel really really popular
  • IF students choose to have you follow them back, it is a GREAT way to:
    • Keep up on their “summer” activities
    • Get to know them better (if you take two seconds to browse their pictures you can quickly see what they like and don’t and it makes PQA way more fun!)
    • Be in-tune with their ups and downs
      • I had a student last year who posted something very concerning, I was able to alert admin and the counselor in my building and I also got to sit down with the student and let them know s/he had a TON of people who love him/her and care. The student told me later in the year how much they appreciated this…
  • You can post pictures of your fun times in class and then WRITE about it IN THE TL, and they go and they READ that for FUN because they are excited about the picture.
  • IMG_3796.png
    • They ask you to tag them in the pics which is SO funIMG_7061.png
    • You have a progression of photos throughout the year and it is so fun to go back with kids and PICTURE talk photos later on.
  • When you AREN’T around the kids, post pics to say how much you miss them or you’re thinking of them and they write you cute notes afterIMG_7427.png
  • When you go to conferences and you meet Señor Wooly in person you can make your kids the most jealous people in the history of the world when you post it on your Insta!IMG_8923.PNG.png
  • There is a teacher in my school who has the kids add photos to a “community” class Instagram as a homework assignment. I am toying with this idea and trying to make it INPUT based rather than OUTPUT because I don’t like ever assigning OUTPUT homework.
  • Students that move on out of your class, will keep in touch with you through Instagram. I still have students in Colorado who send me messages through there every month or tag me in photos saying they miss me or they thought of me.
  • This summer I had students send me videos on Instagram of them singing our “Song of the Month” and dancing to it with their friends at sleep overs. SO fun!
  • You will have students TAG you to pictures that they think would be AWESOME to picture talk.
    • There is nothing like having STUDENTS plan FOR you… how sweet is that?!


Before you get an Instagram carefully consider the following:
  • Does your school have a “Social media policy” that will conflict with you being able to “friend” students (mine does but I am not their friends on my PERSONAL Instagram and I am using it for class)
  • BEFORE posting PICTURES of your students make sure that you are ALLOWED to!
    • Ask your admin or admissions or parent communications team or advertising committee or SOMEONE who knows the answer about what “media release forms” kids have signed.
      • At my school, upon enrollment students and parents sign a release so this is not something I have ever had to worry about (YES, I know I am lucky)
  • BEFORE you FOLLOW your kids BACK, you MUST be clear and upfront with them that if they post, or write anything questionable, illegal, or concerning, that YOU are their TEACHER first and foremost and you will report it.
    • Honestly, if I were teaching high school, I would have to think LONG and hard before “following” any of my kids



I do not “follow”, “Snapchat” or “friend” students until they’ve graduated from high school. That is a personal preference.

I used Snapchat primarily this year to do story retells, or to “recount” PQA that I did with kids that day and re-tell it in the past tense the next day.

I have spent WAY too much time today trying to get the video files I saved onto my old school computer to show you an example of this. I am giving up because I have something JUST as good, in fact, BETTER because it is NOT me for a change and it is the BRILLIANT AMY MARSHALL…. I got to finally meet my “teacher twin” this summer and she is EVERYTHING I wanted her to be and more….I have also learned that from now on I need to post ALL of my Snapchat videos that I create for class ON YOUTUBE so I can access them again. Thank you AMY!

Here is one that she did at a higher level:


How is this NOT engaging?!?!!?

Here is another awesome one from Profe Jen Cornell! How awesome would THIS be for students to open!

Reasons Snapchat is AWESOME:

  • Again, immediate “props” from your students for being the “cool teacher” on the block! 😉
    • Literally, planning has never been so enjoyable… I crack myself up y’all! and you will too…. it is inevitable.
    • YOUR KIDS WILL LOOOOVE IT and if you give it to them in video format they will listen to input OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again because it is so funny and entertaining! (all of these are 10 seconds long now)
  • The BEST thing I did this year with it, was planned an entire SUB lesson. I left a plan for the sub to literally OPEN the video file. I taught a class through Snapchat… YES, an entire class
    • I will share this online next time I do it. This was one of the video files I couldn’t recover. It was EPIC though!!!
  • You can play April Fool’s Jokes on your colleagues…. and send out Snaps to their emails (because honestly most teachers aren’t as cool as you and won’t have Snapchat)
  • It is SUPER fun for special school events like field trips or sleep-overs like this one!
  • You can take fun pics ON Snapchat WITH your class for a Selfie Brain Break and then post it on your teacher Instagram account!
We sent this Birthday message to a mom of one of the student’s in this class!
  • The “filters” are constantly changing… You never know what you’re going to get!


So, first you have to download it. Then, if you choose to use it for story retells I am going to give you a QUICK lesson through pictures on how to do so…. The most important thing is recognizing that if you do not SAVE the video through these steps (there are lots of them) the video (which is only 10 seconds long) will disappear the minute you send it. That is why Snapchat is a LITTLE scary to me and why I refuse to be friends with students until after graduation.

  1. Take a snap then click on the bottom left hand corner to “save” to your “memoriesIMG_1776.jpeg
  2. Click on the X if you aren’t going to send it to anyone else
  3. Go back to the screen where you would do a snap and look at the button BELOW the “take a pic” button. Touching it will take you to your memoriesIMG_0109.jpeg
  4. This is what your memories look like. Click on one that you want to save to your phone.IMG_5333.png
  5. Next click Edit and Save at the bottom of the photoIMG_6489.jpeg
  6. Then click on the little thing that looks like an arrow in a boxIMG_1137.jpeg
  7. Then click save video to save it to your phone.IMG_4961.jpeg

In order to put a lot of movies together, I use iMovie or Splice. Splice is the easiest. This goes against all of my “no plan lesson planning” or little planning “rules”! BUT it is SO much fun! SO worth it!

There you have it! If nothing else I hope that you were entertained while reading!

Until tomorrow!

Happy Teaching!


La Maestra LocaIMG_5996.jpeg



  1. Great minds think alike!! I will be using both of these tools this year! I can’t wait! I got some great information, advice, and ideas from Meredith White. You might want to connect with her to see how she uses Snap Chat in particular! Thanks for the amazing ideas this week and always!!! Love, your Bitmoji Amiga 🙂

  2. Oh. My. GAHHHHHH!!! I am crying!! 🤣🤣. These ideas are 🎶AWESOME!!!!🎶🎶. I’m not even finished reading the post, but laughed so hard at Amy Marshal’s first video, that I had to react!

    Seriously, merci MILLE fois for taking the time to post this (and your other posts) during your first week back!! I was having a pity party this morning bc I’m STILL sidelined due to my fall 4 WEEKS ago 😫, but you and this post have pulled me out of my funk, and I’m going to spend my day playing on Snapchat!!! (Added bonus – I’ll get my youngest daughter – who’s headed off to her freshman year of college next week – to help me. #bonding! ). BRILLIANT!!!!!💛💛💛💛. #grateful

    1. I know… she is BRILLIANT! and SO are you Jamie Ochoa!!!! YAYYY!!!! Did you have fun on Snap1?!?! Sometimes my sides hurt from laughing so hard! Have fun and don’t worry! You will find things back to normal before you know it! xo

  3. I love ALL your posts! Thank you so much!! I just signed up for snap chat today!!! I’m just curious as to exactly how you use it as a classroom tool. I think it’s a great idea that I use it to retell a story but I can only tell 10 seconds at a time. I’m wondering if you can give some more specific examples of what you do with it. THANK YOU!!! I’m looking forward to more posts!!!

  4. Hi again! When I wrote above, I had just finished reading this post from a hard copy that I had printed out and I didn’t see the video attachments. Now, it is much more clear what you do in order to retell a story, but I don’t have an iphone! I’m wondering if I can upload all the ten second snapchats to youtube and then put them all in one video, if that is even possible, or if there is another way! Thank you!! I definitely want to use this!!!

    1. Download the APP Splice. I will write another post about this in the coming months but it should be fairly self explanatory. I just did sub plans for today using snapchat videos and I spliced together 97 snaps/photos to make a huge video for the kids to watch. Splice should be available on whatever phone you have.

  5. Thank you! I actually looked for the app “Slice” but I saw a few different ones but I will definitely keep my eyes open for your blog about the app!! I can’t wait!! I have been playing around with Snapchat since I downloaded it a couple days ago and I think it’s hilarious! I can’t wait to use it in my classes!

      1. Mine was free, it should be free. I have an iphone though, I am not sure if that makes a difference. I would pay that though if it is the same app. The picture is of an S that is white and blue.

  6. THANK YOU!!! I don’t have an iphone so it wasn’t available to me BUT I do have an ipad!!! So, I instead of using my phone to take selfies and record mannequin challenges, which I already did thanks to you, I can use my ipad!!! (I like that better so my phone isn’t out in the open-just in case!) So, I used Splice after I saved my listening portion of my proficiency growth exam on snapchat to my camera roll! It is sooooo easy to use!!!! Also, I have learned so much about social media and I am very excited to use it in the classroom! I’m sure my high schoolers will love it!!! Thank you again for all your posts! They are GOLD!

  7. Quick question: Once you make a fairly large video on splice, let’s say about 25 snaps, where can you send /share them? I tried Instagram but I just learned that the video has to be no more than 60 seconds. Thanks!!

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