Tell us a bit about yourself
There's not too much to say. I live in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York. I just finished my sixth year of teaching 3rd grade. In the past I have also taught 2nd and 4th, as well as a K through 4 gifted and talented program. In my spare time, I design and maintain websites with teaching materials on them. :)
What made you start Super Teachers Work Sheets?
I have been making websites as a hobby since about 1996. Several years ago, I realized that I had lots of printable teaching materials that I had made sitting on my home and school computers. Instead of keeping them locked away on my hard drive, I thought I would like to share them with other teachers on the Internet. In the beginning, everything on the website was written for my own third and fourth grade students. The site has been very popular and the positive feedback has been overwhelming. Since then, I've added about a thousand more printables, for students at all elementary grade levels.
Where do you get your content?
Much of it I've written myself. The website became a hobby, and I enjoyed making up a new worksheet or two every week to add to the site. When the site grew larger, I started accepting submissions from other teachers, writers, and graphic artists as well.
What do you look for in a good submission?
When I buy stories or articles for the site, I look for writing that is high-interest and age-appropriate. I look for simple, yet strong, vocabulary that kids will understand. The best fiction stories are usually funny, interesting, or have a unique plot twist at the end. The best non-fiction articles are loaded with "cool facts" that will make kids think and wonder.
Once you have a submission what are the steps you take before you post it on Super Teachers?
When I accept a submission, I format the text and layout so that it matches with other printables on the site. For younger students, I use a larger font. For older students, I decrease the font size. I have a subscription to a royalty-free clip art site, so I am able to add graphics to the worksheets and stories. For stories and articles, I add a page of questions to go along with the passage. Some of the questions are answers to facts in the passage, whiile others require inferencing, analyzing, or creative response.
What's the biggest challenge with Super Teachers?
Finding the time to keep up with it. I have lots of emails to answer, and worksheets to put up, and facebook updates. I used to publish a monthly newsletter and contest, but that really became too much work for me to do in a limited amount of time. Even though it takes a lot of time, I do enjoy every minute of it.
How long has Super Teachers web site been up and running?
Sometime around late-2006, I think.
How has the response been so far?
Overwhelmingly positive. I receive emails every day from people saying how much they love the site.
What are your plans for the web site in the future?
I'd love to add more printables for younger students PreK through 1st. I've been working on sets of counting and alphabet printables this summer. I'd also like to add more Science and Social Studies resources as well.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Forty-four plus twenty-five? Only kidding. I just hope teachers continue to enjoy the free materials, and that they affect student learning in a positive way.
Check out Super Teachers Worksheets at; http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/