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Adam J. Holland

 

Newly hired educators have an additional tool to help them with classroom management and ensure their students' academic success. 

 

Known as the model classroom, the new initiative serves as a hub for innovating teaching practices and to provide a space for educators to exchange ideas. It is located at James H. Baker Sixth Grade Campus. 

Just like the name implies, the space is set up like a classroom, including assorted styles of desk layouts and learning spaces. 

“So many first-year teachers have not necessarily been in a classroom,” said Dr. William Rhodes, La Porte ISD’s director of Human Resources. “When they walk into a classroom for the first time, they may not know how to set it up to ensure that the whole environment runs smoothly.” 

Added Region 4 Behavior Specialist Catherine Landry, “Preventing problem behavior is key to teaching and learning, and good classroom managing helps accomplish that.” 

The space is intended to serve as a real-world training ground to help teachers adapt to individual students’ needs, and includes everything from seating arrangements to timers, which are used in classrooms to keep teachers and students on task and to ensure the completion of all parts of a lesson cycle, according to Janci Alfaro, the district’s coordinator of social emotional learning & student wellness.  

Alfaro spearheaded the project and has brought in other experts, including Rhodes and Landry, to help. The model classroom will be used during new teacher professional development throughout the year. 

"By creating a model classroom for monthly training and practicum support, La Porte ISD aims to offer a structured environment where novice educators can refine their pedagogical skills, receive valuable feedback and collaborate with seasoned mentors,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Brown. “We are committed to fostering a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring that every teacher has the tools and resources needed to thrive in the classroom."