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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2018

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Online Platform Developed for Teacher Usage

By CHARLOTTE RODINA

The University of Mary Washington’s “Teacher Spot” is an online forum encouraging new and experienced teachers to share ideas, offer support and give guidance in the education field.

Teresa Coffman, associate professor at the College of Education, as well as a leader in the creation and a promoter of “Teacher Spot,” said that, “this site provides a professional community for new teachers.”

Though the site is mostly filled with conversations among UMW graduate students of education, permanent teachers and UMW faculty, anyone interested in teaching or learning about education is welcome to join in on the discussions, according to Coffman.

Coffman said the site is intended for both, “peer evaluation and mentor evaluation.”

The site features a wide array of tools that can help new teachers. One such tool is “webinar,” a web seminar where experts in education can share ideas about good classroom practices.

In the forum section of the site, teachers and teachers-to-be talk, share lesson plans and discuss subjects such as approaches to working with special education and gifted students.

Janine Davis, assistant professor of education, is new to both UMW and the site. Davis said, “I am planning to use it [“Teacher’s Spot”] to upload student videos and exemplary lesson plans so that other students can use the site as a resource for lesson planning.”

Davis is in the process of collecting videos from her Advanced Pedagogy course. These videos will have “instructional models” that help with organizing teaching content.

Another tool on the site is called “audio chats,” which is a library of pre-recorded faculty lectures on anything from “Literacy Coaching,” to “English as a Second Language.”

Users of the site also have access to outside resources aimed specifically to teachers and “hints” for running a smooth classroom.

Though Coffman stated the site is still in its preliminary stages of development, she is hopeful that the site will expand with time.

Amanda Manno, a graduate student of education, had never heard of “Teacher’s Spot.”

“It seems like a good resource,” said Manno. “I’m excited to take a look at it.”

Users of the site also have access to outside resources aimed specifically to teachers and “hints” for running a smooth classroom.

“As more and more voices get involved, they will help evolve it [the site] and make it grow,” Coffman said.

Comments

  1. A link to the website you’re talking about sure would make this article more helpful…

  2. Teresa Coffman

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for asking about the link.

    http://education.umw.edu/tspot/