Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What the Teaching Resources Facebook Page Is ... and What It's Not

Over the last few weeks, my Teaching Resources Facebook page has gained a crazy number of new followers, and Sunday it hit 100K. Amazing! I'm not even going to try to take credit for this so-called accomplishment; apparently Facebook has been bringing my page up as a suggested like when people click on another educational page. I promise you, I did not pay for this kind of royal treatment, either!

If you arrived at my Facebook page through a suggested like, I wholeheartedly welcome you, and I hope that what I offer on the page meets your needs. However, I also realize that a page named "Teaching Resources," might be unintentionally misleading because the term is so generic. That's why I decided to write this post - to tell you a little about my page so you can decide if you really do "like" it.

What the Teaching Resources Facebook Page Is

Let me start by introducing myself. I'm Laura Candler, a retired upper elementary teacher who is also an author and an educational consultant. About 15 years ago I created a website called Teaching Resources with an online file cabinet where I uploaded dozens of free materials I had created for my own students. About 6 years ago I began creating resources to sell online to help put my daughters through college, but I kept all my freebies on the Teaching Resources site. I retired a few years ago, but I still love creating resources for elementary teachers. When Facebook became big, I thought it would be fun to create a Facebook page to interact with teachers who were using my resources and to share new resources with them. I named the page after my website never dreaming that one day it would attract followers from all over who knew nothing about my Teaching Resources site. I started sharing links to resources from other bloggers and educational organizations along with motivational quotes, cartoons, and teacher questions. Facebook has allowed me to connect with other educators in a way that I couldn't through my website.

What the Teaching Resources Page Is Not

Because there's a lot of interaction and sharing, my Facebook page sometimes looks more like a group than a page. If you are familiar with Facebook groups, everyone shares whatever they want and they freely post resources and links on the group wall. However, the Teaching Resources page is not a group and was never intended to be a group. I love groups and I'm in many of them, but my page offers something different. My page offers links to high quality resources that I've either created myself or I've reviewed before sharing with you. It is not an open forum for people to promote their own resources, advertise products, or post job offerings and survey requests.


Why am I sharing this? 
Earlier today I posted a request asking people to stop posting links to other resources and materials on my page, and I got completely slammed with negative responses! I was really shocked that even though many people supported me, so many others lashed out at me for making this request. One person even wrote, "Wow, you're so important. Who said you're the final judge over what constitutes a decent resource or not?" What??
I responded that since this was a page I had set up to go along with my Teaching Resources website, I did have the right to make that decision. In the same way that he is able to choose which teaching materials are decent resources for his students, I have the right to choose the resources I want to feature on my page. I spend hours each week reviewing questions, cartoons, quotes, and teacher resources to share on my Facebook to ensure that they are high quality and meet the needs of my followers. I will not allow it to become filled with links to resources that I haven't reviewed and don't care to promote.

Update on December 23rd: At one time my wall was a place for teachers to post questions they wanted me to share with the group or to interact with me regarding my resources. Unfortunately I recently had to close the wall to the public. It became a place for companies, authors, and teacher sellers to advertise their websites and materials, and I was spending a big chunk of time each day monitoring it to remove that type of content.

What If You Want to Share a Link or Ask a Question?
What if you have a useful free resource you want me to share or you have a question you would like me to ask my followers on Facebook? You can visit the Contact page on Teaching Resources and find my email information there along with specific details about how to submit your request.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me and who understands what I'm trying to accomplish on the Teaching Resources Facebook page. I truly believe that by screening what goes on the page, I can continue to offer high quality resources that meet the needs of a wide variety of educators. Even though my own resources are mostly for upper elementary teachers, I'm happy to share resources for other grades, too. I know that many materials can be adapted for different grade levels and other curriculum areas.

Now you know what my Facebook page is, and what it's not!
 



10 comments:

  1. Very well written, Laura! I appreciate all of the time that you have taken to share so many fabulous resources with all of us(lessons, games, pins, blog posts, etc.) You have created some amazing materials and I have enjoyed using them with my students. Thank you so much!

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    1. Thanks so much for taking time to read this and writing supportive words! I appreciate it!

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  2. Thank you! I love your stuff..and at first I was kind of offended, b/c questions are posed and I am able to connect with so many other teachers and we offer each other advice and support..and sometimes that is in the form of a resource we found that worked for us in our class (and it might not be one of yours that you created!)...and I didn't want to not be able to share ideas that worked for me... I understand more clearly how your site and FB page are connected and it makes perfect sense. I truly love your resources and I am thankful for the Paper Drop EVERYDAY!!! :) So, thank you for this clarification!

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    1. Rick, one thing I might need to clarify is that I don't mind people posting links in response to a question that someone asked. What I meant was I don't want people just randomly spamming my wall with links to their resources because they are trying to get visitors to their site. I think I will add something to the blog post to clarify it. If someone asked a question and you have a blog post or resource share, that's fine!

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    2. Laura, I am so excited to see your page! Now you will have 100K+1! :) I completely understand how you feel! Isn't it sad when you make something with such good intentions and someone misunderstands and makes you feel bad?! This was a wonderful explanation!
      Carolyn
      Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

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  3. Thank you, Laura, for all the time you've put into these resources and on your page. I am new to teaching and I am so happy that I've found you and your page. I use your resources and have bought items. I agree what you've written is articulate and to the point!

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  4. Hi Laura- I hope you know that a huge majority of us appreciate the time and energy it takes to share your creative ideas. Thank you for your generosity!

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  6. Thank fo the informtion..
    I'm really happy to know it..
    I do hope i can get lot of knowledge and resources... :)

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