I have a confession. I’m a hoarder, but thankfully not one of those hoarders that you see on reality TV that need an intervention and a team to come in and clean out everything I’ve saved over the years. I’m talking about digital hoarding, the collating of digital materials that I refer back to regularly. With the exception of my inbox, with which I’m in a constant battle to get to ‘inbox zero’, everything else is filed away in easy to find locations.
I’ve written before about my collated podcast lists via the Stitcher app, which essentially provides me with hours of free professional development on my long commutes. If you are a fan of podcasts I highly recommend you read my Social Justice Podcasts blog post or check out my Podcast & Chill series of posts.
Twitter is where I store a lot of my good ideas and I wish there was a ‘search your own tweets’ option as I find myself constantly going back to old tweets where I share ideas and resources. It’s an easy way for me to store and locate the ideas that have caught my eye. If you are a Pinterest user I have some really good boards for health and physical education teachers.
In my blog post Ten Free Ways to Develop Professionally, I mention that I use the Feedly app to collate blog posts in one easy to find location. Similarly I use the Flipboard app on my iPad to catch up with the world every morning. You can find the Slowchathealth blog on Flipboard.
In addition to the above, Instagram really is becoming a place where I find thought provoking, ideal-for-the-classroom images, and braver voices sharing their ideas in ways that aren’t possible on Twitter. Their language, their imagery and their message speaks to Millennials and Generation Z and keeps me on my toes. I tag the posts that catch my eye and am sharing some of my favorite accounts with you in case you are looking for new educational accounts to follow that are more than a bitmoji, a cute font and incessant links to a Teachers Pay Teachers account!
This awesome account if run by Julia Feldman, Sex Education Consultant. She believes that sexuality is an important and dramatically misunderstood aspect of our complex identities. She thinks that most people have received very flawed messages about their bodies, intimacy, sexuality, pleasure and risk and that (for the most part) these messages have been passed down to our children in a very damaging cycle. I could have shared SO MANY awesome images from this site and it has inspired me to create a ‘Found on Social Media’ display board in my classroom. Many of these images could be used as bell ringers, or even displayed in the classroom as a way of foreshadowing conversations yet to come.
Located in Australia, this is another account that has amazing images that you’ll want to save and use with your classroom conversations. Consent Labs is foremost a collective of young people with a passion. Bringing personal experiences from various university campuses and residential colleges, Consent Labs was born out of a recognized need for greater awareness of consent, sexual harassment and assault. Consent Labs is a youth run organization facilitating a platform for young people to learn how to navigate consent respectfully.
This account seeks to bring together the world’s best minds to make violence against women and girls a thing of the past. Based in Australia, their online store donates 10% of their profits to help prevent Aboriginal family violence. Images on this site are cool and fresh and deal with consent, freedom of choice and LGBTQ awareness. This particular image highlights the fact that unless we deal with the ‘bedrock’ of health, we aren’t capable of doing much else. Of course it’s important to teach about self-acceptance and meditation, but if our students (or ourselves) aren’t loved, nourished, and rested, nothing else will seem valuable to them. On the topic of sleep, check out Better Sleep During the Pandemic.
This account is the work of Emily L. Depasse (she/her), a sexologist based in Philadelphia, PA. SexELDucation is an educational platform that redefines the narratives around sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and relationships. In my classroom I seek to address the stigma that surrounds sexually transmitted infections and encourage students to have those difficult conversations related to the topic. When I ask students what they want to learn during our time together, many of them ask how to navigate awkward conversations with their partners and their friends. I would love it if all of my students were sufficiently mature to react in the way illustrated in the image below.
Dr. Laurie Mintz is a Feminist Professor and Therapist, and is also the author of Becoming Cliterate. This account focuses on spreading empowering, sex-positive information to close the orgasm gap and contains original material from Dr. Mintz in addition to some great re-posts that have caught her eye. The image shared below is an example of a re-post from this account. You can find more from Dr. Laurie Mintz, including here TEDx talk via her website.
One potential project that I have burning a hole in the back of my brain right now is to have my students create zines. I’ve created brochures and pamphlets before but zines seem to be very much on trend right now, and the #graphicmedicine community on social media are very creative. (If you are reading this and are part of the #graphicmedicine community PLEASE consider writing a guest blog post for me). The Pleasure Pie account is from a grassroots sex-positive organization in Boston, MA. who make zines, illustrations, publications, events, and have conversations on sexual empowerment and consent. Some of their materials are NSFW, but I like their style and their message.
This is the account from the voices behind The Sex Wrap podcast which promotes itself with the quote – “For everything you were too afraid to ask at home; too embarrassed to ask at school; or that was just too hard to ask a partner.” As hard as I try to make my classroom a safe space for all, and as often as I let my students know that they can come to me with questions or concerns, I know that some will look elsewhere to find the answers to their questions. Again, some of the materials shared are NSFW, but the message is very much in line with my own philosophy.
Not everything in my timeline is purely sex-ed related…although in writing this blog post I notice that a lot of my favorite posts come from that area. This is the instagram account from the awesome Ingrid Fetell Lee, who’s book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness resonated so profoundly with one of my co-workers that she has presented to the faculty on how she makes her classroom more joyful. This account brings me joy, makes me smile, and sometimes has illustrations that are a pure delight. The image below is one of my favorites.
This is the account from Tori Press—an artist, writer, self-love advocate, therapy enthusiast, and highly anxious human being (her words!). She spent most of her adult life working as a freelance graphic designer before deciding to close down her business and create space in her life. She draws about what it’s like to be a human being: the good, the bad, the confusing and messy and vulnerable. Her drawings help her cultivate more mindfulness, joy, gratitude, and self-acceptance in her life. I think they will have the same effect on you also. I love Tori’s style and she even has a store from which you buy her work. The image I’m sharing below is one of my favorites and she is donating ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THIS PRINT TO THE ACLU. I love this print so much I had to interrupt the writing of this post in order to buy it!
I share this account, not because I’m following it myself. I’m not. This post came up in my feed because I follow the hashtag #librariesofinstagram, and it’s a great example of the power of hashtags to refine your feed. If you read my #summerreads 2020 blog post you’ll know that I try and read as widely as possible and am always on the look out for reading inspiration. Racial and social justice are topics close to my heart and I am collating an ever-growing list of books to eventually read entitled Race, Racism and Rebellion that I recommend checking out (and sharing!).
PLEASE support YOUR local library, follow them on social media, and let them know that you appreciate them. Big shout out to MY amazing local library!
Although I still enjoy my twitter addiction, you can find me on Instagram where I am still experimenting with ideas and ways in which I want to increase my online presence.
What am I missing out on? Where are the Instagram accounts that I should add to my list? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below, or on twitter using the hashtag #slowchathealth.
If you enjoyed this blog post you might also like Virtual Classrooms in which I share some of the more creative bitmoji classroom ideas. You might also like my original Instagram related blog post entitled Ten Instagram Accounts to Follow in which I declared ‘Twitter is dead. Long live Instagram.’