What is a Listserv?

A listserv is a mailing list based on a computer program called LISTSERV that allows people to create, manage, and control electronic mailing lists. It enables a large group of people with like interests to communicate effectively with one another without requiring each person to maintain a mailing list of all the other participants. Each member that is subscribed to a particular mailing list receives a copy of every message sent to that list via e-mail. Additionally, a listserv can archive postings in a searchable online database, send indexed digests to participants instead of individual messages, and make sets of files publicly accessible by email.

Why would I want to join a listserv?

The listserv mailing lists made available via the CFF initiative allow teachers from across the state to communicate ideas, share resources, common issues, concerns, and successes. Furthermore, it is a community of learners who provide on-going support for one another.

For example, suppose you are looking for a new approach to teaching a particular topic using the tools you received as part of the CFF initiative. You can create a description of the activity – as general or specific as you like – and send it to the listserv. In a matter of moments, you could get responses from colleagues across the state! Or maybe you have just had a wonderfully successful experience in your classroom; you can share this success with other CFF teachers who are teaching the same subject. Additionally, when you find a great resource for your content area, you can share it with others across the state, including how you used it and why it was successful in your classroom.

As a member of the CFF Coaches' Listserv, I am amazed at the volumes of valuable information I learn from my colleagueson a daily basis. I have also used this tool to obtain answers to questions I have regarding all types of CFF-related issues. Therefore, I highly recommend that you follow the steps below to join the listserv in your respective content area. You certainly won't regret taking the time to do so! Before you know it, this worthwhile means of communication will provide you with new ideas, new colleagues, and great resources! ;-)

To join a listserv:

1. Address an email to: listserv@mailinglist.caiu.org
2. Ignore the subject line
3. In the body of the message type: subscribe name of cff mailing list (see below) yourfirstname yourlastname

  • cffenglish; cffmath; cffscience; cffsocialstudies

To send a post to a list in which you belong, address it to the subject specific mailing lists below:


Listserv Etiquette

Due to the nature of these subject area listservs, clicking REPLY is the equivalent of REPLY ALL. As a result, it is absolutely necessary for you to include your signature in all emails to the listserv. This will allow (and encourage) other teachers to reply directly to you, rather than to the entire listserv. Your signature should include:·
  • Name
  • Title
  • District
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Other pertinent addresses (Skype, website, blog, etc.)

When a teacher shares a great idea or a wonderful success, please thank or congratulate them privately.

Collaborative Spirit

In the spirit of collaboration, if you do receive responses privately, please post a synopsis of the answers/suggestions in an appropriately-named email to the listserv. This will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to share in the great ideas.

Sharing Documents

If you are sharing documents with teachers across the project, remember that not everyone is using the same version of MS Office. So, if you are using Office 2007, please save to an earlier version, so that everyone can open the file! This may be true within your own district as well.

Clear Subject Lines

Make sure other teachers find the emails that are pertinent to them. Clue them in with a clear Subject Line, e.g. "Beowulf " as opposed to "Need a Teaching Idea"

Too Much Information?

To avoid an entourage of messages bombarding your inbox, I can assist you with setting up a filter on your email account so that all of your listserv emails go to a particular folder.

Above all, enjoy the collaborative spirit of Classrooms for the Future! ;-)