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[Teacher Tips] Essential Elements of a Great Teacher Website

[Teacher Tips] Essential Elements of a Great Teacher Website

Teacher and classroom websites help you, your students, and their families stay organized and on the same (web)page. Still, chances are that you may get regular emails from your current students and their families asking questions that could be easily answered if they looked at said teacher website. We put together a list of best practices and helpful hints to help you optimize your class page for success, without too much fuss. As the new year approaches, give your teacher webpage the user-friendly refresher it needs for a better 2021!

The Basics: Welcome Message, Contact Information, Teacher Bio

Let’s start with the basics. When students and families come to your teacher page, make sure that you have a fresh and relevant welcome message. If this hasn’t been updated since the beginning of the school year, give it a little brush up that lets readers know what you want to focus on in the last half of the year.

Next, let’s talk about contact information. Most teacher webpages have an email and office phone number. Kick it up a notch by adding a schedule of when you are available by phone and email and when students or their families should expect to hear back from you. This clearly sets boundaries of when you are available and should hopefully keep those 10 PM panicked emails from late-night studiers at bay—or at least set the expectation that you don’t look at your inbox after 7 PM on Wednesdays and won’t respond to any after-hours emails until the next morning. Another thing to consider adding to your contact information page is your virtual office hours. Will they be changing in the last half of the school year? Make certain that this section gets an update as well.

Lastly, review your teacher bio. For your students, include a few fun, icebreaker facts about yourself that will help them get to know you better. For their families, be sure to include your training and education, volunteer activities, and accomplishments.

Intermediate Level: Class Objectives, Homework Assignments, Calendar of Events

Take a look at your class objectives. If you were a student or caregiver, would you understand the overall objective of the course? If the answer is “yes,’ awesome job! If not, maybe change things up. Another fun thing you can do with class objectives is add monthly goals to help your students and their families with tracking their progress over the school year. Don’t forget to add progress updates to keep everyone informed on where they stand or to make adjustments as the year goes on.

Do you post your homework assignments to your teacher website? If not, it’s a great way to foster interactive learning. It also allows parents to participate in and better monitor what their child should be working on, and it can be especially helpful to students who are still sharpening their organization skills and may have forgotten to jot down their assignments in their planner.

If your students have been having a hard time keeping track of assignment due dates and quiz days, you’re not alone. This is where having a calendar of events with test, homework, and quiz schedules comes in handy. It gives students a spot where they can go to effectively plan their week and to make sure that they’re not missing anything important, and it also gives them a go-to spot for announcements if you need to make adjustments or changes to the class schedule.

Advanced Level: Learning Resources, Parent Resources, Class News and Awards

How often do you comb through education websites and find awesome resources you want to save for later because they’re just so cool? This is where a learning resources library will come in handy. You don’t have to stop at approved, outside resources, though. In your resource library, you can house mini videos showing how to use your learning management system, outlines of classroom policies, project rubrics, and more! Especially now that parents and guardians are more hands-on with learning than ever, any resource that provides valuable information for them will be appreciated.

In your class news and awards area, keep students, parents, peers, and community members close to your class by posting important news, accomplishments, and activities. Did you host a virtual spirit day? Take a screenshot, and share it here! Did you have a student or parent who went the extra mile? That’s another easy win to highlight.

For more tips and tricks from virtual teaching pros, check out our popular webinar, Best Practices for Taking Your Virtual Teaching to the Next Level, where a panel of virtual EdOptions Academy teachers share their best practices that have helped them to be successful over the years.