Social media is a valuable tool for educators. But with all of the various platforms available, it’s hard to stay on top of them all. If you can only choose one, Twitter is a great option due to the short, easy-to-digest posts that still allow art teachers to build a community, curate resources, stay on top of educational legislation, and get other teachers’ perspectives.
Before you get started with Twitter, check your school and district’s policies on social media use. Avoid “following” students, never direct message them on social media, and always remember that you represent your school and your profession when you post.
Let’s look at four reasons why Twitter is a great option, a quick overview of Twitter Basics, and then ten art teachers to follow!
Here are four benefits of using Twitter as an art teacher.
1. Build a virtual community.
While some art teachers are lucky enough to have a team of other art educators at their school, others feel siloed as the only art teacher on campus. Despite not always having an in-person community, there are many ways for art teachers to create a virtual community, with Twitter being one of them. Twitter creates links between like-minded art teachers from all over the globe. It’s a way to stay in touch with the teachers you meet at conferences as well as develop relationships with art teachers you haven’t met yet.
2. Curate resources and ideas.
Art teachers are creatives at heart, but even we can get stuck for ideas! Many art teachers share pictures of projects with a link for more information about them. There are endless project ideas on Twitter, but you can also get inspiration from following professional and amateur artists.
3. Stay on top of legislation.
Despite our best efforts, legislation affecting teachers can easily be missed until it’s passed into law. Stay informed and educated by following teachers on Twitter who are passionately getting information about laws and educational reform.
4. Gain insight from different perspectives.
TAB? PBL? DBAE? Which one of the many acronyms describes how you teach? No matter which one you prescribe to, follow teachers with different perspectives to inform and improve your instructional strategies. You may not be a TAB teacher, but you may see a picture of a TAB artwork and be inspired to create a lesson around their process or technique.
If you are new to Twitter, here are four basics to get you started.
1. Keep to the character limit.
Twitter limits the number of characters in each tweet to 280, but that is actually a good thing. Every post is short and sweet, making it easy to weed through the information and find what is relevant to you.
2. Use hashtags.
Like other social media platforms, you can follow hashtags to ensure that subjects you are interested in appear on your Twitter feed.
Here are some popular (and useful) art education hashtags to follow:
3. ReTweet to share others’ ideas.
Express your opinion on something a user has Tweeted by “reTweeting” it and adding your commentary. This is a way to show that you agree with them, offer feedback, suggest your own viewpoint on their idea, or start a conversation with a fellow educator.
4. Direct message (DM) other art educators.
Twitter offers the option of sending other users direct messages. It allows you to have longer conversations with other art educators without everyone on Twitter seeing it. However, remember to remain professional and be aware that many popular Twitter users don’t have time to respond to every DM.
Follow these nine inspiring art educators to get started.
When you “follow” someone on Twitter, their posts show up on your homepage. This prevents you from missing what your favorite Twitter art teachers have to say. Ready to find some awesome art teachers to follow? Start by following AOEU, then check out this alphabetized list of art teacher accounts!
With a mix of posts about her students’ projects, discussions about being a culturally responsive art teacher, and keeping her followers up-to-date on how legislation impacts educators, Ariel Kay offers a little bit of everything.
From assessment ideas to coloring pages and pictures of student artwork, Grrreg offers not just inspiration but also resources any art teacher can use. They are also known to occasionally post entertaining memes, so follow Grrreg if you like a bit of humor showing up on your Twitter feed.
Keisha is an engaging, charismatic art educator with original project ideas and practical advice. Check out her Instagram and AOEU’s YouTube mini-series, Run the Art Room, for some extra entertainment!
If you are a TAB educator or even just a teacher interested in offering students more choice, give one of the original TAB educators and former AOEU Writer a follow. Her account offers thought-provoking questions about student roles in the art room and challenges long-standing beliefs about art education. She also shows student work, giving her followers glimpses into what artwork looks like in a TAB classroom.
This North Carolina elementary art teacher shares all the goodness of her students’ projects. If you teach younger students, give her a follow for some creative ideas!
Mrs. Lewis consistently shares pictures of her students’ gorgeous artwork. It’s clear she pushes her students to create deep, multi-layered art. She is an instant follow for a constant source of inspiration!
If you are looking for project ideas or serious art education discussions, this isn’t the account for you. However, if you like a good laugh and an occasional art teacher meme popping up on your Twitter feed, @artteacherjoys is a fun one to follow!
The Arty Teacher provides amazing resources for art classroom management, lesson plans, and even the occasional art education joke. Her Twitter resources are just the beginning of what she has to offer, so if you like what you see there, check out her other social media platforms as well!
Long before art teachers were thrown into the world of virtual teaching at the start of the pandemic, Wendy Aracich taught art classes online. Her experience in virtual education and STEAM makes her a wealth of information for art teachers whose jobs now include an online component.
Are you ready to get started on Twitter?
Once your Twitter profile is set up, start building your virtual community, curating resources and ideas, staying on top of legislation, and understanding other perspectives. Following hashtags and other art teachers is a great start, but don’t forget to also post your own Tweets as well. Expressing your perspective, showing off student art, and presenting unique ideas help to gain recognition for your school’s art program, inspire other art teachers, and solidify you as a contributor to the art teacher community. You have a unique voice and perspective others need to hear!
Who is your favorite art educator on Twitter?
What benefits have you experienced from using social media as an art teacher?