Guest Post by Kim McBryar
Why I Chose Weebly to Host My Website
Let’s be honest. The last five months have felt like 20 years. We have all aged drastically, realized our true priorities, and sought the best next steps for our students. We have been living under the umbrella of uncertainty, and some of us are finally reaching our hands out to see if the rain is still falling. While many teachers and students will be dancing between the raindrops, we need to be ready for a possible downpour and our return to shelter under the umbrella.
I have spent the last few months learning everything I could to improve the remote learning experience. I have helped to lead cohort groups in professional development, been a participant in several webinars, read books, and dabbled in Bitmoji classrooms. As a result, I have chosen to head in a different direction. I want something that students can use in the classroom or remotely, if we should end up in that place again. I am teaching in-person and virtually, so having one space for all of my students to use is important. I have concluded that a website would work best for me. We know that teachers aren’t a wealthy lot, so I decided to look for a platform that will give me the tools to create a free website.
After falling down the rabbit hole of possibilities, I decided to use Weebly. It was so easy! I was able to use Canva to get things started and Bitmojis to make it fun! Depending on your creativity, this project could take you down many roads. I am brand new to this, so I was keeping it easy for me. Weebly has LOTS of choices when it comes to themes, pictures, fonts, etc.
My goal was to create an easy-to-navigate-way for students to find their workspace and parents to contact me, if needed.
After navigating schools being shut down as both a teacher and parent, I also wanted to be sure that parents have as much information as they need to help their students be successful, regardless of the learning environment. I decided on simple character pictures, plain backgrounds for students, and large buttons. Because I am using standards based grading for the first time, I have a page that explains what that means and shows examples of the grids that I plan to use. I want my class to be as transparent as possible for families. Furthermore, I wanted families and students to be able to reach me with just a few clicks, so I added a contact page.
Try It For Yourself & Let Me Know How It Goes!
As you are looking at the screen shots, please keep in mind that I am a rookie, and I am building something simple for kindergarten through sixth grade students. Many of our families do not have Internet access, so their technology experience is limited, and I want them to feel comfortable exploring. My site is still a work in progress which I will continue to build as needs arise. If you have never tackled building your own website, I would recommend Weebly and would encourage you to create something interactive for your students and families. If you are interested in building and need a cheerleader, please contact me! I would be happy to help and encourage you.
About The Author
Kimberley McBryar is currently a STREAM teacher and has also served as a first grade teacher, fifth grade science teacher, and reading specialist. In 2020, she was nominated by colleagues and won The Dassa McKinney Elementary School Teacher of Excellence Award.
Kim lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (speak kindly of the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins). She is the wife of Gene (18 years and counting), and the mom of Kendall (11) and Gavin and Shane (8).
Kim enjoys watching her kids play their favorite sports, serving as PTO president at her kids’ school, collecting Converse sneakers with cool patterns and motivating teacher shirts, and learning, learning, learning!