Become a STF groups member

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How to become a STF groups member

You can request to become a member of STF group for your subject, by entering information in this google form. Within a week, you will be added to the group.

How to become a whatsapp, hike, telegram (phone based groups) member

See information in this document about existing phone based groups in Karnataka, if you want to join a group, please send a SMS to the admin of the whatsapp/ hike / telegram phone based groups (Please DO NOT send a email to the STF mailing groups), with following information- Your full name, name of school / institution, subject taught by you, name of District / Taluka, Cell phone number and email id

Whatsapp / Hike / Telegram group admin members should fill up information about their group here. However, membership of the phone groups depends on the admin of the group. Some groups may not want to allow open entry to others. However the STF mailing groups are open to all teachers in Karnataka.

Mailing tips for a STF member

  1. The group is an academic space. Hence all mails should have some academic concern. Purely personal mails, mails which do not have any connection to academic issues, should not be sent to the forum
  2. If you want to write to only one person, who has sent the mail, do not send to the groups, send only to the person. For example, if you want to join a whatsapp group, please reply only to the person who has sent the mail for forming the group. If you select REPLY, it will go to the groups. Hence remove that, and copy paste the person's email id.
  3. Give a meaningful subject line. Just saying 'Hi' etc can be avoided. If the subject line gives a good idea of the contents, then we can decide whether to read that email or not. If the topic does not interest us, we may chose not to read it, or to read it later. For example if you want some information on Formative Assessment (FA) and you reply to a mail saying "Please add to groups"  no one may see your mail.  Giving correct subject line helps all the people to determine whether they want to open a mail or not.  A CBZ teacher may decide not to open a mail which says "Direct common tangent Geogebra file"
  4. If you are attaching a file, give the file a meaningful name. Names like 'doc1.odt' or 'harish.odt' are meaningless. File name should suggest what the file is about, e.g. 'Congruent triangles.ggb'. If you are attaching a file, give a description of the attachment in the mail itself.
  5. End every mail with your name, school name and taluka name. You can also add your cell number. This can be done automatically in gmail, by selecting the 'signature' option under 'settings'
  6. The volume of STF Mails tends to be quite high. You may want to separate STF mails from your other mails. In such as case you can set a 'filter' in your Gmail or in your Thunderbird mail client to move all STF Mails to a separate folder so that your Inbox is free to receive other mails
  7. Use search option in your Googlegroups to search for the resource you want. For example if you want Work plan, you should first search in your STF googlegroups - all the mails with "work plan" will be displayed for you.  After seeing all those, if you still want to send a mail for Work Plan you can send. Of course, for this to work, we must use correct subject line.
  8. In case you feel any teacher is sending many mails in which you do not have an interest, you can set a 'filter' to move 'all mails received from that email id to another folder so that it does not come in your inbox. By using 'filters' feature, we can reduce spending time on mails which we do not want to read and focusing on mails we want to. Thus using these technical features of email, we can reduce the load of emails in our Inbox.
  9. Email is a more complete communication than SMS and Whatsapp and hence can be more useful. Please use it like how you would write a letter, with details.  In your sms or Whatsapp, there is a character limit - Not so for email.  You can attach many kinds of files, you can't do it on sms.  If you have a good resource you want to share with other teachers, it is better to share with STF google groups, in addition to sharing on WhatsApp, because more teachers can access it.  Similarly, if you are a Whatsapp admin, share useful discussions back with the forum - more teachers will benefit. 

We will publish on a google document the names and admins of various Whatsapp groups; so please visit this page before you decide to start a group/ want to join a group. 

Email guidelines for all members

This section discussions guidelines for considering which mails are good for the forum and which are not. This should be seen as a draft framework for discussions amongst STF teachers.

  1. Celebrate - these are excellent emails that all of us love to receive. Some good resource made by a teacher or accessed and shared. Some very thought provoking ideas relating to teaching learning. Some wise comments on a troubling social issue. Since the objective of the STF is to provide opportunities for teachers for peer learning, sharing, most of the types of mails mentioned in section above would come in this category, as follows
    1. Core academic issues for the subject, such as discussion of a topic from the text book
    2. Broader issues relating to the subject - such as history of mathematics, famous scientists, writers etc
    3. Still broader issues relating to education, which may not be restricted to the subject itself. For example, environmental pollution, life skills etc
    4. Still broader social issues such as elections, national calamities. For a teacher, it is not sufficient to simply be maths and science teachers alone. Discussion on broader issues can also contribute to our development as humane teachers and active citizens. Basically, the purpose of the forum is to broaden, deepen the knowledge and understanding of the teacher, not only as a subject teacher, but as for the larger role of a concerned citizen, tasked with the responsibility of preparing responsible citizens, hence needing to have wider/larger and informed perspectives on a wide variety of issues/areas.
  2. Accept - most mails may not be brilliant or wise, but still are informative, or share the thoughts and ideas of a teacher.
    1. We need to have a broad interpretation of the teaching profession. We must have deep subject knowledge. We must also have good teaching skills. However, beyond both, as teacher, we are concerned citizens and also responsible to create responsible citizens. This means teachers must be concerned with a wide range of educational as well as social issues. For e.g. is a discussion on eve teasing relevant to STF. If we think that life skills are important part of the curriculum for all subjects, then of course this is relevant. Similarly since NCF suggests taking a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching, different subjects need to be integrated for the learner. This means that any subject teacher can be, should be and even must be interested in other subjects as well. A topic like 'water' can be discussed from maths, science, social science, language (perhaps all subjects!!) perspectives.
    2. Sometimes we may feel that a mail is not really useful, in such cases we can ask ourselves - is the teacher intending to be negative or disruptive? Is the teacher repeatedly sending blank or meaningless or irrelevant mails. Many teachers are joining the forum all the time, and these new teachers will need sometime to adjust to the group norms. During this time they may send irrelevant mails. We should gently and firmly guide them that the purpose of the STF is professional development of teachers through sharing and discussions and irrelevant mails add to the load of reading. However if a teacher repeatedly sends meaningless mails, then the group manager can put such a teacher under 'moderation', so that mails from that teacher need to be approved before coming on the list. In case you think any teacher is repeatedly sending irrelevant mails, please send a mail to with your feedback.
    3. It is be felt that purely administrative matters, such as teacher transfers, formats of maintaining registers etc. are not discussed in the STF forum. However, occasional sharing of circulars, orders may be useful to alert teachers and hence may be seen as useful. Issues like mutual transfers, which can be large in volume, can be moved to discussion forums where only interested teachers can record their requests and see other teachers requests. All other teachers who do not need information on mutual transfers, need not see that information.
  3. Reject / Disallow - Rude or offensive mails must not be allowed. Differences of opinion is to be expected in a such a diverse group of teachers from across an entire state, however, this does not entitle us to be rude or offensive. We must make our points/submissions politely and in a constructive manner. This is a skill that we should learn and practice this skill of giving feedback and responses in a constructive manner. One tip here is to focus on the subject or topic being discussed and not the person raising the issue. Hence following mails must not be encouraged/must be discouraged in the forum:
    1. Purely personal issues
    2. Completely irrelevant issues
    3. Blank or meaningless emails
    4. Offensive, rude emails
    5. Repeatedly sending the same information
    6. Personal attacks on eminent personalities should be strictly avoided.

A mindmap providing a framework of what mails should be part of the forum and what should not is provided below

Error: Mind Map file STF not found

How many groups?

A group is a community. Just like there will be many many communities in the real world, there will be many virtual communities - mailing groups, phone based groups in the virtual world. They can be for a subject, for a place/ district etc. There are NO rigid rules for this, except that the members feel the need to be together, communicate with one another and learn together. For eg we have a STF googlegroup for maths + science teachers, since many teachers felt that maths and science topics would interest all teaching the two subjects. However a group of chemistry teachers may want to discuss only Chemistry and could form a mailing group or a phone based group. There are advantages and disadvantages of making such a separate group. Advantage is focused discussions about chemistry. But it is also true that we should pursue science in an integrated manner, that is beneficial for teachers and students. To solve this, we can request the members/ admin in different special interest groups (Maths/ Physics/ CBZ) to take the responsibility for sharing useful discussions back to the larger state forum. Similarly Whatsapp group members / admin can share useful discussions back to the larger state forum, since it has the maximum reach amongst teachers, while phone groups membership can be limited.

Analyses of STF mails

From our experience, we know that almost 80% of emails are very relevant to our professional interests. Only couple of times, very rude/offensive mails have been sent and immediate action (removing the mail id) has been taken. Like any normal distribution, very good or very bad mails will be exceptions. Most mails will be in the 'acceptable' category. Hence by and large teachers can be happy with the discussions on the forums (and more need to participate). Using 'email filters' can reduce the volume of mails in Inbox. Also many mails are for new membership requests and we will create a separate form for such requests, so it does not come to the forum.

How to function in a Whatsap group?

  1. Know the *purpose / reason* for the formation of the group and act accordingly.
  2. Confirm the *validity of the news you wish to share* in your group before circulating it.
  3. If the news you circulate is true, you will be respected by the members. It brings honour to you and your group.
  4. *Discussion*- unless necessary, *deal individually* with a member.
  5. Post only *useful news.* This will elevate your status.
  6. Since we are in more than one group, there is a tendency to repeat the postings. Delete a video or picture immediately after viewing it once.If you receive the same material, delete it at once.
  7. *Avoid* posting a *series of materials at one go*. Avoid sharing more than one picture or video at the same time. Your sharing may appear to be a burden to your friends.
  8. Before sharing a video or picture with the others, *consider carefully if it's worth sharing or if it has been shared previously* ; then, go ahead and share.
  9. Don't share incorrect medical notes. Don't support rumours.*
  10. Don't share violent or gruesome pictures/ videos* e.g.murder , chopping of hands, indecent pictures
  11. Refrain from sending morning, afternoon and evening / night greetings in the chat group.*
  12. Conduct yourself such that the group admin is not affected or hated by our postings.*
  13. When posting about needs in the group, specify the day and type your name in the message.The others in the group will come to know your name. Several medical or educational needs are being shared for many years.*
  14. Don't remain silent in a group all the time.*
  15. When forwarding videos / pictures, don't forget to indicate the content of the material. Many of us fail to do this.*

May your chat group grow by leaps and bounds....👍

  1. The Hindi Literature Whatsapp Group has prepared its - RULES FOR POSTING, with translation into English