Mrs. Wilson revives @neuquavalley Instagram for the community


Wilson fills the story with many posts about events around Neuqua. The one she covered from this screenshot is the slam poetry contest. With this account, more awareness can be brought to different activities and ultimately bring students together.

Dana Balmas, Editor-in-Chief

Teachers all over the world spend hours planning lessons, grading worksheets and trying to make their students’ experiences as memorable as possible. One Neuqua Valley High School English teacher Melissa Wilson has crossed these boundaries and entered into a realm fairly untouched by teachers: Instagram. Posting now multiple times daily to @neuquavalley, Wilson has revived the once-inactive account. The last post before she took over was added in 2016, and now, three years later, it is alive again. Starting with a smaller following in the beginning just like any other account, @neuquavalley quickly grew, reaching 753 followers of students, parents and teachers alike.

Putting herself in the limelight everyday has definitely challenged Wilson. She mentioned how she was already part of the instructional technology and collaborative learning team at Neuqua where she is required to visit multiple parts of the building throughout the day. On top of that mobility,  she teaches English during one period of the day to sophomores. As she has added the steady stream of Instagram posts to her agenda as well, her schedule has grown to be quite full.

Wilson got the idea to run this account when she attended a teaching conference outside of school and they showed different ways to increase student engagement and motivation. She quickly discovered that “the best way to learn was from observation.” With a growing population of the school now watching her stories on the account, she discloses that “I think they think I’m kind of a dork.” Despite what she thinks, many students continue to check-in on the daily posts. Wilson describes some of her favorite things about running the Instagram, saying “I like engaging students and making lasting impressions.”

Wilson shares that, in the future, , she hopes “the account will continue to grow and that more students can become aware of its existence.” Along with awareness, she wants “more feedback from her followers, as she likes to know what the people wish to see.” One day, she hopes to see student and/or teacher takeovers, but she says “there is still a long way to go before that.” For now though, she says she might give commentaries a try and hopefully, the account can make its way toward becoming viral. If you would like to see her post about all the different things happening around Neuqua, follow her account @neuquavalley on Instagram.