Beginning Teachers Assistance Program

About 170 new teachers converged on the J.C. Penney Building/Conference Center on Oct. 13 for the fall Beginning Teacher Assistance Program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

As one of the largest preparers of certified teachers in Missouri, the annual Beginning Teacher Assistance Program has become one of the biggest such conferences in the state.

“This annual conference serves as an important professional development piece for teachers in their first to fourth year of teaching” said Helene Sherman, associate dean of the College of Education at UMSL. “And it allows them to come together for a full day of strategies and debriefing during this critical phase of induction into the profession.”

The program is sponsored by UMSL’s College of Education and School of Professional and Continuing Studies, and was funded through a $10,000 gift from State Farm Insurance. Participants also received free notebooks on effective teaching.

Karla Eslinger, assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, gave the program’s keynote address. Eslinger reinforced the critical role new teachers play in student learning, as well as emphasizing the need for continual learning, professional development and teacher evaluation.

“Every day you go to work, you make a difference. The rewards are great … and immediate,” Eslinger said.

The program included workshops on classroom strategies for English language learners, behavior management and differentiated instruction.

Visit for more information about the Beginning Teacher Assistance Program and upcoming sessions.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton

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