News for iteachTEXAS Candidates

From Pat Laster, Field Supervisor

We Know the Content! It's All the Other Stuff!

If you’ve made a similar statement to this, you are not alone! So where do we go from here?? A few suggestions:

· Get out the Harry Wong book, The First Days of School, in order to reread some of the key points that were covered in your course work. In the first chapter are some points about stages of teaching (Find out where you are!)

In the second chapter, explanation is given on the three characteristics of effective teachers:

  • have positive expectations,
  • are extremely good as classroom managers,
  • know how to design lessons for student success.
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Management is a Must!

Management is a key issue/challenge for most new teachers in all areas. During Spring Break, you might want to look at chapters on effective discipline and also re-teaching rules and procedures in Dr. Wong's book. Remember that effective classroom management has a tremendous relationship to the amount of student achievement in your classroom at the end of the year! Effective discipline involves: being: consistent, fair, proactive rather than reactive, respectful of all students, caring but one who holds high expectations. It is never too late to become focused on some of these issues.

Lesson Planning WILL Make a Difference

I WILL NEED A COPY OF PLANS EACH TIME I COME TO OBSERVE. Plans need to be thorough and include a specific learning objective. Remember that listing page numbers or activities is not a complete lesson plan. If you don't have a plan, your students will!!

Web Sites to Share

I visited one classroom in which the teacher was using It is free and a site to help create interesting and exciting lessons. It does require students to have access to digital devices. Another site is which is useful for immediate feedback and assessment using various electronic devices. A site used extensively by another teacher is However, it is currently being updated but can be worthwhile to check out in a few days. You will find two minute videos on YouTube on how to use these links in your classroom.

Please share any sites that you have found helpful and/or time-saving.

Pat Laster, Field Supervisor

I have served school districts as curriculum director, principal, assistant principal, and teacher, and have taught from kindergarten - graduate students. As a reading specialist, I still enjoy doing writing for on-line web sites for teachers. I hope that together we will use my experience to support your first year in the classroom.