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Educators Will 'Affect the Culture' In May

The end of the 2018-19 school year is within sight, and our District’s year-long celebration of teachers and the teaching profession is revving up for a stretch run with its #WhyITeachACPSD social media campaign.

The #WhyITeachACPSD campaign, which kicked off in August of 2018, encourages teachers to share what sparked their interest in education and keeps them coming back to school year after year. Over the next month, Wednesday, May 1 through Wednesday, May 29, teachers from each of Aiken’s more than 40 campuses are challenging one another to #AffectTheCulture with #WhyITeachACPSD.

Affect the Culture and its founder Darius Robinson were introduced to Aiken County Public Schools this year when the non-profit led a similar social media campaign in Aiken’s high schools and challenged students to conduct and share five random acts of kindness.

“The ‘Better’ Campaign in our schools had tremendous success,” the District’s Director of Communications and Community Partnerships Merry Glenne Piccolino commented. “The posts and positivity from the campaign have continued well past the end of the contest.”

Piccolino and Robinson collaborated on a similar social media contest for teachers and both feel that the timing of the already scheduled May 1 relaunch couldn’t be better.

“From the steps of the capitol to the voting booths, teachers everywhere are letting their voices be heard,” Aiken’s Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford commented. “The #AffectTheCulture with #WhyITeachACPSD Campaign promises a peek into the classrooms and into the hearts of our community’s teachers and I can’t think of anything more compelling than that.” 

In early April, Principals each selected five tech- and social- savvy teacher leaders to spearhead the campaign for their campuses. Today, weeks of planning and strategizing among these teacher teams and 

their faculties will come together in what we’re confident will be a movement unlike any other on platforms that stretch far and wide.

School and district leaders, and administrators from Affect The Culture will be visiting and thanking teachers for their inspirational posts throughout the month. The big reward will go to teachers at the school with the most posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when the Superintendent, members of his Cabinet and Leadership Team take over “lunch duty” on June 3 while teachers and staff enjoy professional fellowship with their colleagues and lunch catered by campaign partner Panera Bread.

Here is what you need to know about the competition:

  • This is a Social Media challenge for educators and school staff running Wednesday, May 1 through Wednesday, May 29, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Each school’s five teacher team selected a unique hashtag during an April 22 meeting to be used in the social media challenge. Those hashtags are below.
  • In a spirit of collegiality and advocacy, we encourage educators in schools across South Carolina to use the hashtag to tell their #WhyITeach stories and share inspirational ideas.

Teachers will be posting content including special moments and events, and times when students, parents, and/or their colleagues inspired them to remain passionate about teaching, or moments that have rekindled their love for their profession. Postings may also include helpful resource information to share with other educators.

While we anticipate that posts will be full of heart, teachers will be mindful to maintain the privacy of their students, their progress academically and their families and have been asked to speak in general terms about their students, without names. If a photograph of a student is included in a post, a teacher will have done his or her due diligence to insure any special requests of the student’s parents or guardians have been honored. 

The school that has the most original posts (formatted correctly per contest instructions) wins. The similar challenge in Aiken’s high schools was won by Wagener-Salley High School, one of our smallest student bodies, proving that it is not the size of the school that matters, but the commitment of the participants.

“This is an exciting time to celebrate our teachers in South Carolina and encourage them to use their unique voices to advocate and share the passion they have for their profession with others,” commented Affect The Culture Founder Darius Robinson. “We are thrilled to have this special opportunity to stand side by side with Aiken County Public Schools in celebrating the true greatness of the teaching profession.”

Affect The Culture will calculate how many original posts, not retweets, shares or comments on the original post, are being made. A post shared across multiple platforms would count once on each platform. For example, a post on Facebook that is also on Instagram and Twitter would count three times.

The school winner of the social media challenge will be announced Monday, June 3.

We wish all of our schools and teachers the best over the month as they share their pride, passion and professionalism with our community – Happy (hash) Tagging!