We chatted. I welcomed her. Offered to help. Yada yada.
And then I noticed. The huge filing cabinet, drawers wide open and totally empty. Emptied by shiny new teacher to make room for her own shiny new teachery things. And my name. In Sharpie. Written down the side.
It was mine. My file cabinet. Empty.
The garbage bags? All of my files. All of my plans. All of my everything.
After waxing the floors, the custodial staff had placed my file cabinet in the wrong room. Shiny new teacher couldn't have known, so I tried to cry in private. I didn't want to tarnish the shine.
Times have changed. These days I use that very same file cabinet to hold an extra pair of sneakers and an extension cord. Why? Because of my computer. And because of Pinterest.
Pinterest isn't just for sharing recipes and cute outfits. It can be a classroom teacher's best friend. Here's how I recommend using it.
Create Unit of Study Boards
Create a board for each unit of study that you teach, and pin photos, videos, books, and lessons pertaining to that lesson. With everything in one place, I can easily locate the anchor chart or mentor text I had in mind for a lesson. When I pin a YouTube video, I often remove the annoying sidebar first, so I'm never scrambling to hide the inappropriate images that sometimes appear.
On my Middle School Nonfiction board, I keep track of books I'd like to purchase for class. When I'm in a bookstore or at the library, I can easily whip out my phone and open the board using the Pinterest app. Before Pinterest I would have everything in my notes app. Or worse yet, I would text myself titles. Try scrolling through that mess to find something quickly. Sheesh.
Share Ideas with Teammates
Make a teammate a co-pinner on the board so that you can collaborate and share ideas and resources.You'll avoid sending a lengthy list of emails links that get lost in the email abyss. The board will be easy to find, and the information on it can be accessed whenever it is needed.
I teach a short advisory class and often team up with a coworker to raise money for a local children's charity. We buy supplies, and spend the 10 minute period making crafts, which the kids then sell to other kids and teachers in the school. It's difficult to find a quick, easy, and cost-effective project that can be started and completed in a timely manner, so when I come across something in my Pinterest "travels," I pin it to my Creative Ideas board. I love that board and also use it to pin classroom "hacks."
Use Pinterest as a Muse
Pinterest's search function provides a wonderful way to find educational sites, helpful blog posts, and all kinds of teaching ideas. You can be as specific as you would like. Just type in a variety of search words and terms and see what comes up. You can modify your search to look for pins or boards, which is extremely helpful. For instance, let's say you are interested in finding writing ideas to use in a middle school classroom. Search "writing, middle school students" and then click "boards." You will have a chance to look through the boards of someone who has already pinned useful information, saving you a lot of precious time.
Don't forget to follow pinners who have similar interests as you. Often, they will follow you back, and you can be online "collaborators" of sorts, sharing information with ease.
While you are exploring the wonders of Pinterest, you might want to check out our Secondary Smorgasbord board. It's the place to go to find pins related to our wonderful and informative monthly blog hops.