7 things teachers should (and should not) be doing on social media
Getting your teaching staff on social media can often be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's a fantastic way to develop a great community between the school and parents. On the other hand, it takes training and strategy to get teachers on board and using social media effectively.
To help, here are 7 things that teachers should (and should not) be doing on social media:
 Champion your department, your pupils and your school with amazing #SchoolStories
Many school marketers out there will recognise how difficult this can be to do. There are loads of great stories happening every day, all over the school, but it is not possible for one marketer, or a small team, to be there to capture them all. So, why not bring in the staff that will be there to help capture and share these stories?!!
We promote platforms such as Twitter as an effective way to do this. It is quick to learn, quick to use and requires nothing more than a mobile / tablet device.
If used well, as part of a school marketing strategy, it gives teachers and the school an opportunity to show the world what they teach and what their pupils are learning / doing.
 Work towards your CPD
Using social media in this way opens up one other facet of your teachers' career - their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
In lieu of lots of paper work and portfolios, teachers can visually prove the learning activities they engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. In particular, this revolves around best practice techniques and ideas sharing (two core methodologies required as part of CPD).
 Always wear your 'school' hat
While we fully encourage teachers to:
- get on social
- share #SchoolStories
- connect and engage with peers
- share resources
we want to make it clear that these school accounts are school accounts! They should be treated as professional channels.
To ensure that yourschool account remains just this, here are a few basic rules to follow:
- don't post personal opinions (particularly on inflammatory topics). You may disagree with a new government scheme but does it have a place coming from your school? Remember, what you post represents your school
- don't share inappropriate material. Keep it professional and relevant to your department at all times
- if you have a personal profile, keep it personal. For teachers, we recommend making personal accounts private. Parents and pupils can (and most likely will) try and find you, so if there are a few embarrassing pics it's best they stay memories between you and friends - not the school community! To see what we mean, try Googling yourself and see just what comes up.
 Work as a team
As colleagues, forming a professional community, you will want to see everyone succeed in their roles.
When it comes to social, some people will get it and others will find it harder to understand. It's only natural. To help your professional community operate smoothly then, the "champions" of social media should help those less inclined to using the platform.
As well as this, the relationship between the marketing team and teaching staff should be collaborative. Teachers can push the story-led content and marketing can drive the brand and what they are looking to promote about the school.
 Know your school's policies on safeguarding
Safeguarding your pupils is paramount! Your school will have policies that covers important factors, such as:
- how to correctly use mobile devices to capture pictures / videos of pupils
- what can and cannot be shared online (such as names or locations)
- the pupils who cannot have pictures / videos of them shared at all
Understanding these rules is incredibly important! It will boil down to the school's SLT to ensure all staff are aware of safeguarding policies, and updated when there are modifications.
 Learn social media so you can teach social media
You may dislike social media and see it as the downfall of humanity, but your pupils do not! For most, they have grown up in a world where there is no other way to communicate - social media is as important to them as water, food and having a roof over their heads.
It falls to you then, the teacher, to ensure your pupils are safe online. Just by using social media, you can begin to understand their world a little more intimately; and as adults you are better placed to define right from wrong, good from bad.
A good exercise is to read the terms and conditions you quickly click past when you sign-up for Facebook, or Instagram, or Snapchat etc. Take a look at what you are agreeing to - you will likely be really surprised!
 SHOW, DON'T TELL!
The time old adage that gets instilled in your pupils almost every day. You teach it vehemently, and now is the time to live it!
Social media gives you the perfect opportunity to show what you, as a teacher, are teaching to your pupils. Parents will want to see this, as it brings them closer to their kids and the school - your community.
If you are teaching Shakespeare...show it!
This 43 second video will do more to demonstrate what two pupils are doing in their education than just saying, "We are doing a Shakespeare play for drama."
Teachers - we WANT to see you all on social media. What are your thoughts on what social can offer schools - both as a teaching aid and as a marketing tool? Please comment below.