1.What was the biggest challenge for you on this assignment?
The biggest challenge for me in completing the teacher website was making sure that I included all of the required elements and that the content reflected what I truly wanted to be on the site. Since I will be entering the classroom next semester, I wanted my site to be completely usable instead of it representing what my “ideal” site would look like. In order to make my site completely usable once it was published, I had to decide what certain components of my classroom would look like with regards to determining the class rules, supply list, grading policies, and the syllabus. Some of these things, like the supply list and rules, I had not even thought about since I will be entering a classroom where this has already been established. I liked that the level of depth required made me think about what my future classroom policies would look like and how I would share that with parents and students.
2. What was the most enjoyable part of this assignment?
The most enjoyable part of the teacher website assignment to me was seeing my completed website as a usable product that I can actually use. I have completed multiple assignments in my Education and Curriculum and Instruction course that have been created under the context that “this assignment could be used in an actual classroom.” After four years, I can truthfully say that this is not the case. I would never use any of the assignments I have created in my previous education courses in my classroom; the exception to this is some of the assignments I have completed for my methods course. This is not to say that the previous assignments have been poorly developed or unprofessional; rather, they are not realistic of the needs that need to be met in an actual classroom with diverse learners nor are they reflective of the interests or needs of actual students. These assignments have been designed for use with college students who already know the content. The teacher website is different; it was designed for students and parents and could be used by them to find information about my classes. The site is professional in appearance and it contains information that is reflective of the real world. For example, instead of using a “fake” syllabus, I included one that I plan on giving to students.
3. Why did you reflect the 3 assignments that you selected?
I included my infographic, digital poster, and digital story because I wanted to show examples of actual assignments that I would have students create as a product of student learning. Given that the content would be Spanish related and not instructional technology, these assignments reflect what I would want students to be able to do with their language skills. Piktochart, Smore, and PowToon are all tools that my students can access for free and use to complete actual assignments. To me, it was important to show realistic samples.
4. What if anything would you do differently before you could use this site for your actual classroom?
I would make a few changes to my website before I would provide students and parents with the link. First, I would remove my resume. I do not believe that it belongs on the site in its entirety. In order to still provide students and parents with some information, I would include fragments of it such as my educational background and professional association membership information on the “About Me” page. Second, I would change my grading policies. I am still in the process of determining what my grading system would look like and since I will be stepping into a system already created by a Cooperating Teacher, I will most likely be following her grading policies throughout my student teaching. The next two changes I would make are based on two things I saw on my classmate’s websites when looking over them. Looking at the website that Kaitlyn made, I saw that she included pictures of what her “classroom” looked like and I believe that this is an excellent idea. For the parents and guardians who cannot or will never see what their child’s classroom looks like, adding pictures will help provide them with a glimpse of the learning environment. I would add a few photos of what my classroom looks to my site. The second change I would make is to post my teaching philosophy. Tiffany had this on her site in the form of a few short phrases that summarized her beliefs about teaching. Just from looking at these short phrases, I could tell what core beliefs drive her as a teacher and what someone observing her class could see in action. I would add this to for similar reasons, but mainly to remind myself of why I want to be a teacher and to push myself to be the best teacher I can be for my students.
*Attempts were made to create ALT tags for the images used on the site but Weebly would not create them/did not have the ability to do so*