My Story Captured in Photos

Type: Article
Topics: School Administrator Magazine, Technology & AI

December 01, 2019

Social Media

As a wife, a mother of two and a school superintendent, I use social media to tell my story, with my outlet of choice being Instagram. It’s the ultimate online brag book and a wonderful tool to showcase elements of your personal and professional life.

Instagram helps me share how great it is to build relationships across the community, the state and even the nation.

The features on Instagram that I appreciate and take advantage of are these:

  • SUGGESTED CONTACTS. Because Instagram and Facebook are integrated, it’s easy to find and connect with people on Instagram with whom you already are friends on Facebook. Instagram’s search feature makes it easy to find people and brands to follow too. Following more people and businesses builds your network and creates new personal and professional connections.
  • SIMPLE PROFILE. All you need to set up an Instagram profile is a 150-character biography and a photo. It’s less involved than filling out the profile fields on Facebook or LinkedIn, lending to its appeal.
  • TAGGED PHOTOS. I routinely do a sweep of my social media accounts and clean up my pages or news feeds. Sometimes I’m “tagged” in a photo that may or may not be desirable on a personal or professional social media page. Instagram makes it easy to un-tag yourself from photos.
  • POSTING MULTIPLE PHOTOS AT ONCE. The photos and videos I share reflect my brand, interests, personality and daily life events with others. In Instagram, it’s nice to have flexibility to post multiple items at once instead of posting one image at a time. Users can post up to 10 images or videos in one single post.
Additional Facets

Other Instagram features that users can consider are these:

  • YOUR STORY. If you choose to update your Instagram Story, you can share a quick video or photo and add text and gifs and post them just to your story. The post lasts 24 hours and only your followers can see it if your account is private. This feature enables you to share content you don’t want appearing on your Instagram profile.
  • INSTAGRAM LIVE. Instagram’s livestreaming feature can be used to present a live action of a public event when you see merit to sharing this experience with followers.
  • BOOMERANG. These are short, five-second video clips that you can create in Instagram. They add movement to your photos, especially if you don’t want to record a full video.
Maximum Access

We live in a society where all things can be captured with a photo or video and uploaded to social media in a matter of seconds. I’ll admit, my favorite tool had been Facebook, but I have discovered busy moms and dads who want to just scroll through a photo album instead of reading long posts or blogs on other social media platforms prefer to use Instagram.

Managing multiple accounts as a mother and superintendent can be a bit challenging, especially since I choose not to link them with the same content. To be an effective communicator, you must first realize each platform has a different target audience and overall objective. Therefore, when posting I analyze my post and determine what group I am targeting whether it be friends, family, colleagues, parents, students, etc.

It is important that social media accounts represent fresh content and reflect our own brand or personality. I use Instagram to share a healthy mix of work and play. Snapshots of my day fill my pages, whether it’s a shoutout about one of my children’s accomplishments or a hug from a primary or high school student.

For superintendents, there’s value in having others see the connections we make. Social media tools enable us to write the story as we see it and to promote the amazing things happening in public education.

I always try to abide by this advice shared by the quotable Germany Kent, author of The Hope Handbook: “You are responsible for everything you post and everything you post will be a reflection of you.”


Michele Taylor

superintendent of Calhoun City Schools in Calhoun, Ga. Twitter: @jacketmwtaylor