The emergence of social media has to be one of the greatest advancements in the world of teaching. Educators and aspiring educators alike can share ideas, inspire others, and feel part of a community that truly understands all of the amazing triumphs and tribulations that come with running a classroom. Many teachers have even started blogs that serve to inform, reassure, or simply keep us in stitches. Below are a few of the best teaching blog posts of 2013. Be sure to pass along and keep reading day to day.

1) Blog name: The Teaching Palette

Post Title: Learning the 4C’s With Shadow Puppets
Why it ranks: Guest blogger, Suzanna Dionne, is a visual arts teacher for children grades pre-K through second grade who not only understands how to make art fun but also relevant to core subject standards including English, reading, language arts, and the arts. The post provides videos of the behind-the-scenes process and final product as well as a time line of their in-class process.

2) Blog name: Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Post Title: 10 Ways to Be a Terrible Teacher
Why it ranks: Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious at all. Author Vicki Davis provides a clever wake up all for all teachers old and new who may have picked up some bad classroom habits. The post also functions as a bit of validations for teachers who’ve managed to avoid such pitfalls as too much teacher talking, relying on tired old lessons year after year, or even using cell phones in the classroom.

3) Blog name: We are Teachers

Post Title: 10 Ways to Use Instragram in the Classroom
Why it ranks: Instragram is taking over the social media world: it’s visual, inclusive, and operates at the speed of light. Hannah Hudson knows this and offers a list of enticing suggestions to would make any middle or high school student eager to do their homework.

4) Blog name: MiddleWeb: All About the Middle Grades

Post Title: Helping Kids Stick with Learning
Why it ranks: The term “grit” has become something of a buzzword in recent months and blogger Susan B. Curtis adds to the conversation. She discusses both sides of the “grit” debate that has erupted, site examples and advocates, as well as methods for fostering this quality in class if a teacher so chooses.

5) Blog name: It’s Not all Flowers and Sausages

Post Title: Murphy’s Law of Classroom Juju
Why it ranks: Frustrated teacher Mrs. Mimi reaches out to all other awesome educators who have had a bad day and seems to say, “Today sucked. Let’s laugh about it.” She discusses the fragile ebb and flow of the classroom vibe and how one day of educational bliss must, by law, be followed by a day of pure hell; something all teachers can relate to at one point or another in their career.