The Dreaded Teacher Webpage: A Horror Story of Upkeep

1Every teacher starts the year off with positive energy of how they are going to stay on top of everything this year! They’ve reworked their organizational system and spent Saturdays in their classroom getting ready for the school year. Now it is October, they have three parent meetings this week, a faculty meeting, a department meeting, an ARD meeting, and at some point they need to type up their lesson plan. Teacher webpages can be viewed as “one more thing” on the long list of to-do’s to be accomplished.

Luckily, we have some great teachers in Lufkin ISD that are utilizing their webpages to enhance their communication with students and parents and provide access for student learning outside of the classroom. One such teacher is Viola Moreland, a 4th grade math teacher at Coston Elementary. Viola utilizes her webpage to introduce herself the students and parents, upload math notes that students place in their math journals, and provide links for additional math study.

Viola offers a wide range of resources on her teacher webpage, “I have added a folder to my page for math journal pages for my students. I thought this would be a good ideal for students that were absent or that left their journals at school. The journal has information that helps with homework and test preparation.  Also, I have added some math fact links so that students can listen and learn math facts.  I have also added some educational homework sites that parents and students can access for homework help and other activities. I used videos on my page in the form of links. I am creating some short videos that would help explain content to students”.

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If you feel overwhelmed, take a breath and start small.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and with just a few short clicks, your teacher website can be ready to use by students and parents alike.

Here is a Youtube link to a short video on updating teacher webpages using school fusion:  https://youtu.be/5I5NK5FoYV0

What should be on a teacher webpage? Here are some ideas!

  • Basic information about the teacher
    • You don’t have to tell them your life story, but parents are interested in who they are entrusting their child to all day,
  • Due dates
    • You’ve stapled a half sheet of due dates to the student’s backpack, placed the sheet in all of the take home folders, and sent a Remind text but still had a few unprepared students…
    • Paper gets lost and texts are deleted. Utilizing a web page allows for the information to be found at any time!
  • Notes
    • Everyone always needs notes.
  • Expectations
    • Teacher teaching styles are as varied as student learning styles. So it is important for students to know what is expected of them. I was a “mother hen” teacher and kept up with my student’s journals in my classroom. Other teachers sent them home everyday. So knowing what is expected leads to a lot less miscommunication down the road.
  • Pictures
    • Make sure that parents have signed the forms allowing for their child’s picture to be placed on the webpage. Parents LOVE to see their child. They especially love to see their child growing and learning! A safe rule of thumb is not to tell any identifying information of the child but to tell what they are doing and why.
    • If you regularly add pictures to your site, then parents will check back more often and will see the due dates on projects! Win win for everyone!

Now you are asking, when am I going to have time to do all of this? The great thing about websites are they can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Most will work with a cell phone!

My suggestions would be:

  1. First thing in the morning. You are already printing or making copies of the notes for the day. Login to your webpage and place them there as well.
  2. While students are independently/group working. Walk around and snap a picture or two of them collaborating.
  3. During team/dept meetings. As you plan what is to come, add it to your webpage.

If we can get to the point of utilizing the teacher webpage as a useful tool and not a hindrance, you will find that you have more time later to put towards other important aspects of your classroom.

For any help in setting up your teacher webpage, please contact: Amanda Smith (asmith@lufkinisd.org) or Stacey McCarty (stmccarty@lufkinisd.org).

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