Tip #1 - Create More Specific Boards
I began my Pinterest career with one board called "Teaching Spanish". After a year on Pinterest, I had pinned hundreds of pins to that board and wading through them was cumbersome, to say the least. Pinterest (as far as I know) does not limit the number of boards you can have, so I started creating more boards with more specific topics for the themes I had a lot of pins on. Then, I took a couple (okay, many...) hours and reorganized my pins by moving them from my "Teaching Spanish" board to some of my more specific boards.
Here are some examples of the specific themes of my new boards (feel free to follow any that you like!):
Profesiones y Trabajos
El Día de los Muertos
La Navidad y el Año Nuevo
Pronunciación y el Alfabeto
Tip #2 - Personalize The Comments
Sure it's easier to just pin and move on, not bothering to change the comment already attached to the pin, but personalizing the pin by changing those comments can make it more useful to you later. There is, after all, something that attracts you to each pin. Sometimes, a little light bulb goes off and you get a great idea. When you are looking for that pin to use the following year, will you remember that idea? Probably not! One way to fix that is to leave a little comment that captures that light bulb moment. Now, when you go to your specific and thematically organized boards, you will be reminded of that great idea!
Tip #3 - Join Collaborative Boards
Joining collaborative boards means that you will help others, and they will help YOU! You will be able to pin to these boards, but many other people will be pinning to them as well. These other people may be interested in topics that you never even thought of and you will be exposed to new ideas through them. I didn't even know inforgraphics existed until I saw them popping up on my collaborative board, and now they are one of my favorite things to use in the classroom. Don't know any collaborative boards to join? Here are a couple of my favorites...
Spanish Learning Board
Tremendous Teacher Tips
Tip #4 - Set a Goal
There is no doubt that are thousands, probably millions, of great ideas on Pinterest. Unfortunately, those great ideas won't help you at all if you don't try them! I like to set a goal to try one new Pinterest idea during each unit I teach. This number is manageable for me. If you don't have a terrorizing toddler at home, you may even be able to try 2 or 3. The point is to start to incorporate other people's ideas into YOUR practice. If it works out, great - if it doesn't, that's one less pin you need on your board!
Tip #5 - Keep an Open Mind
Okay, this is hard for me to admit, but for a long time I would just ignore all pins for paid products. This is pretty ironic considering that some of those paid products are now mine. I guess I had this idea in my mind that these products were going to be too expensive, not enough like what I teach, or maybe not as good. Boy was I wrong! I am astounded by the number of very creative teachers out there that are selling their products at a minimal cost. What changed my mind was, well, becoming a mom! I used to have hours each night and all weekend to spend on school work. Then, all of a sudden, I was lucky if I had time for a shower. I realized that time is money - meaning that if I wanted to get back some time, I was going to have to spend some money. Now, when my family wants to go do something fun on the weekend and I have work to do, I just look for a product (Teachers Pay Teachers has the best selection) and spend $2 so that I can enjoy time with my family. Most of the time the things I get have been worth WAY more than what I paid because they also spark new ideas! I also have stopped purchasing things from overpriced teacher catalogues like Carlex and Teacher's Discovery because there is just not as much value there now that I know of other options.
¡Viva La Pinterest!