Your Teaching Website

Creating your own teaching website is an exciting and important way to prepare yourself for the classroom. You should imagine that the primary audience for your website will be your students, but that the site will also be visited by parents, colleagues, school administrators, and the public. The teaching websites created by my students have very often led to jobs -- so also keep potential employers in mind as you create your site.

Your website will be extremely useful. You can publish your syllabi, post assignments and activities, show off student work, provide reading lists, offer links to valuable sites for your students, their parents, and your colleagues, etc.

The site should reflect you, your passions and interests, your philosophy, your professional accomplishments, professional materials you have created, perhaps feature some of your own writing, and your interest in and excitement about teaching English. The site can also speak to other interests you have in different content areas or in coaching, clubs, or after school activities.

Your teaching website is a great place to show off your ability to connect with and inspire young people as well as your Internet and tech savvy. Your site is a kind of professional portfolio, targeted to real world audiences, where you can showcase your thinking, work, and background.

For the purposes of my class you will create a basic teaching website that you can continue to develop during our class, during other classes you take, during student teaching, and once you are employed in the "real world." In this site present yourself as a teacher, not as a college student who will "one day" be a teacher.

If you have never created a website the first time does involve climbing a learning curve. Sometimes, as you are learning the technology, you might decide to scrap your first draft, but that is OK; the next draft will be better! Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to move faster and faster.

One-on-one technology support is available at the Student Technology Center on the Tower Bridge (between library and technology center) - open until 10:00 pm 6 nights per week, check website.  You may also be able to get help at the Technology Help Desk, also in the technology center.

Your teaching website is an opportunity to shine -- blow away your visitors with an innovative and interesting site!

Outstanding Examples of Teacher Websites
Created by My Students

  Tracy Becker Jackie Justice-Brown Misty Maina
  Samantha Clark Matt Furrow Virginia Shedd
  Maddie Wohlfert Jen Heymoss Susan Waldie
  Gail Rogers Rachel Cooper Katie Reilly
  Tony Cerullo Seth Kay Darby Yoder
  Paige Schoon Nicholas Vichinsky Hailey McClimans

(Sites published on "webnode" can not be accessed on campus.)

Basic Pages for a Teaching Website

1) Home: This page welcomes visitors, sets the theme, tone, color, and design scheme of your site, and links to other pages in the site. Give it a personal feel!

2) Students: This page can include content about the classes you teach or will teach, on-line resources for students, recommended reading (required), outstanding examples of student work, links to sites your students have created, etc. Your site will likely have several pages for students all linked from the student page.

3) Parents; This page might include your teaching philosophy, a letter to parents, links to your email, web resources helpful to parents, etc. Here are more ideas for your parents page.

4) Colleagues; This page should have links to professional resources for teachers, perhaps materials you have made, and links to English Journal articles and on-line lesson plans (last item is required in 4800).

5) About me. What is your background? Why are you excited about teaching English? Some pictures will make this page more personal.

Go beyond the basic!

Free Hosting Sites for Teacher Websites

There are many free resources out there for creating your teaching website. These sites are all easy to use, and once you learn to use one, you can use others more easily as well. On YouTube you can view short videos about how to use many of the sites. The sites my students have favored have evolved over the years, sometimes because sites change policies.

You can use these free sites and the URL they provide, or you can purchase your own URL - - your URL should cost no more than $10-15 per year. You can shop for URLs at GoDaddy.com and then "point it" at your site. (That's what I do with AllenWebb.net.)

Hosting sites my students have recently used with success: Wix

Hosting sites that might work well -- we need to try them out: Webs, Web, School Rack, PBWorks.

Google sites.  WMU has an agreement with Google that provides some support for Google resources, including Google Sites, see wmich.edu/google to access Google Sites via your WMU account. You can also purchase your own URL through Google.

Hosting sites my students used to use but now involve expense or restrictions: Weebly (free, now limited to 5 pages), Webnode (a good site, but now blocked by WMU so can't be seen from campus computers).

In addition to a traditional website other resources, such as blogs and wikis, can be creatively used to host classroom websites. Resources include:

Wikis: Lunar Pages, Wikiversity

Blogs: WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr

Web Resources to Enhance and Support Your Teaching Website

Webresources to support the development of your teacher website: Google Documents, Webquests, Blogger, LiveJournal, YouTube.com, Animoto, IMovie, Audio Boo, Google Ajaz Feed, Illuminated Texts, Prezi, (Glogster) Tagxedo, Wordle, AfterTheDeadline, mind meister, bubbl.us,Webspiration, Good Reads, Twitter, Facebook, Second Life -- and so many more.

Web resources to support English teaching with technology: English Teacher Companion Ning, LitArchives.com, Literature Circles, Literary Worlds, Mashable on On-Line Writing Toolbox. Web English Teacher, Purdue Owl, Read/Write/Think.

Websites made by prior students in English 4800, in English 2790.


Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 4/19