Speaking to Stephanie Rogers, she strikes you as someone who isn’t afraid of change. After working for years in the computer programming industry, she found her true calling as an English teacher. She’s now at St. Joseph Catholic School in Plaucheville, Louisiana, which she feels passionately about saying, “I absolutely love my job….I’m not going anywhere, this is where I will die.”
Combining her love of reading with her passion for the kids she teaches, Stephanie is clearly making a big impact at her high school where she teaches English Literature to all four grades, 9th-12th and is the Beta club sponsor.
Stephanie’s teaching style focuses on accountability and instilling a sense of responsibility into her students to help prepare them for life outside of high school. This also extends to herself too, she leads by example, “I have a policy in my classroom that if I don’t have a homework reminder on [the BAND app] and then you forget to do your homework- you get an extra day because I didn’t use BAND to remind you.”
“Any teacher you’ll meet is just looking for ways to make life just a little bit easier. BAND is one of the ways I have made everything a little bit easier.”
When she first started at St. Joseph, they were using Remind to communicate with parents and students. However, Remind had limited capabilities and there seemed to be an issue between iPhone and Android users where some got the message and others didn’t. Stephanie put her tech background to work and started to search for a solution that would improve communication and accountability in her classroom, that’s when she found the BAND app. “Any teacher you’ll meet is just looking for ways to make life just a little bit easier. BAND is one of the ways I have made everything a little bit easier.”
After getting approval from the Principal of her school, Stephanie introduced the app into the classroom and her and her students learned the communication app together. When it came to implementing BAND across her classrooms, some 74 students, she says, “I think the most effective thing we did, what I did, was to make it [a] homework reminder.” Every day she schedules a homework reminder post to be published at 4:30pm so students are notified once they are home to finish their work for the day. She incentives her students by deducting 10 points for homework not turned in, but zero points deducted if she forgets to post the reminder on the BAND group. That way, students are reminded to check the app daily.
“Consistency is the key in our situation.”
The BAND app has also helped the students complete their assignments. “They know that if there is something they can’t figure out. Miss Stephanie put it on the app or I can message her on the app and she’ll remind me or tell me or, you know, they just know that the [app is the] first line of communication.”
She has even used the app to assign and turn in work for her classes. For example, she asked the students to record themselves giving a speech with their pet at home as part of a public speaking assignment. The students then uploaded the video into BAND and private messaged it directly into their teacher’s inbox. Stephanie could then sign into the browser version of BAND on her computer and play the videos for her entire classroom, seamlessly. “It also timestamps it in case they are absent or something like that. They can upload a file, they can take a picture,” to show that they’ve done their homework.
“I love my job, my kids.”
Stephanie creates a different BAND group for each of her classrooms and clubs. BAND’s chat feature is probably the most used section in Stephanie’s English classroom. The students use it “to ask each other questions about homework and things like that.” But they can also private message their teacher whenever they want as well (without anyone sharing their phone number). “You know, they are kids, they feel embarrassed sometimes. They’ll talk with me privately if they don’t want to put it in the group,” she explains.
On top of making classroom communication and deadline management easier, Stephanie’s practical use of the BAND app, lets her focus on what truly matters: her students. Plaucheville, LA is Stephanie’s hometown and working at a small school allows her to get to know her students better, “We’re very close. I do absolutely love my job.”