How to set up specialist teachers

There are a few different options for specialist teachers. Sometimes it can work best for a school or district to have a separate class for their specialists, while other times it works best to have one class that specialists and homeroom teachers share. You should decide which will work best for you based on the age of your students, how your specialists work with students, your tech setup, and your rostering method.

Please note that If your school is using Seesaw for Schools, connected family members will be automatically connected to their child's journals in all classes as long as the teacher in those classes has Family Access turned ON and students have the same unique ID in each class.

If you are using the free version of Seesaw, families will need to add each class separately but can use the same Family account to access all of their child's classes. Find instructions here

Option 1: Have separate classes for homeroom and specialist teachers (works great for science, art, etc)

Pros: Student work is in separate classes for each teacher. Teachers can control their own class settings. Students signing into Seesaw with email and password, SSO, or Home Learning Codes can switch between classes in the left sidebar menu just like teachers.

Cons: Class Code students will have to sign out of homeroom class and scan into the specialist class when they want to add things to the specialist class journal. This can be tricky for younger learners trying to post student work in the correct class.

Option 2: Specialist teacher creates one large class and names groups of students after the homeroom/main teacher that group belongs to. Works great for library, makerspace, clubs.
Note: Classes have a limit of 150 students per class.

Pros: No need to sign in or out or switch between classes. Everything is in one big class.

Cons: There is one shared Class Journal and students do not have their own journal. Families cannot subscribe to the journal (but posts can be shared to a class blog if you want to share with a wider audience).
Option 3: Create one shared class with specialist teachers as co-teachers. Use folders to keep specialist work organized (ex: folders for Art, Science, Tech). Works great for specialists who work with a limited number of classes.

Pros: Students will not need to sign in and out, or remember to switch between classes.

Cons: Teachers have to agree on class settings. Students and teachers must remember to use folders to help differentiate which work belongs to each subject and/or needs to be reviewed by each teacher. Specialists who see students in multiple classes will receive all notifications for classes they are connected to.

Rostering with Clever or ClassLink?
  • Create custom sections in Clever and split up the classes so that the specialists have fewer classes to manage (student limit is 150 students per class) 
  • Use Clever or ClassLink to roster classes for homeroom teachers and .csv roster JUST the specialist teachers. You can make a copy of our roster template and find step-by-step .csv rostering instructions here. This can help if your specialist teachers are not in the Clever or ClassLink data!
  • Specialists can also create their own classes and use the Class Directory to roster the students they see.
  • Add specialist teachers to your Clever or ClassLink sharing as-is. This will create a homeroom class for students and multiple specialist classes (Option 1). Students will need to navigate in and out of their classes before posting their work.
Rostering with CSV?
For Options 1 and 2: Create specialist classes using a fresh CSV Roster Template or specialists can create their own classes and use the Class Directory to roster the students they see.
For Option 3: Add co-teacher directly to class or use CSV Bulk Edit tool to add specialists as co-teachers in bulk.




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