Beginning Teachers Community

Year 1 Teachers 2024-25

⚙️ Highly Effective Teaching & Leading 🪑 Seated & 💻 Virtual 💲 Paid

This collaborative and supportive program is a mix of seated and virtual sessions. It includes flexibility in sequence and choice of topics while tightly aligning with DESE’s updated BTAP requirements.



  • Meals at seated sessions

  • Materials

  • A one year subscription to GOTeach, our quarterly newsletter for new teachers with tips and tools for classroom instructional strategies, and personal self-care for teachers


  • Members: $150

  • Non-members: $200

  • For those registering before July 1, 2024, the registration form includes the option to pay out of next school year's budget.

  • Substitutions are encouraged, as refunds will not be provided.

About this Program

The initial experiences of new teachers are critical to both them and their students. Teaching is complex and therefore, collaboration and on-going support is key for teacher retention and success! It is also vital that the learning new hires are receiving regionally, complements and honors the work and learning they are doing in their home district. For this reason, each district will identify a lead contact to partner with us to build a cohesive program best suited to their new hires.

Year 2 Support for all new hires is a new requirement from DESE BTAP guidelines (March 2024). This part of the program, which will go into effect next year, is in the process of being developed with input from the GOCSD Beginning Teachers Community Advisory Team. Registration for the Year 2 program will open in early 2025. Please note: If you have a current Year 2 teacher who is needing/desiring additional support, you are welcome to register them for the Year 1 program as a new participant or repeat registrant.


The focus of this BTAP program is to build the capacity of your first-year teachers through year-long professional learning and ongoing support tailored to their needs. This program will focus on the key elements of DESE’s beginning teacher program (BTAP) and allow these early career teachers the opportunity to hone their skills in the areas of becoming:

  • Skillful classroom managers

  • Effective community builders

  • Professional communicators

  • Professional practitioners in regards to certification requirements and professional rights and responsibilities

  • Reflective practitioners

Completion of this program meets Section 168-400, RSMo Supp.2015 and section 168.021.1 as a requirement of certification.


The overarching goals are to develop each new teacher’s ability to:

  • Have instructional knowledge and agility in regards to highly effective Tier 1 Instruction

  • Become a reflective practitioner with the ability to self-reflect and collaborate with colleagues

This program will also acknowledge the personal side of starting a teaching career with ideas to support new hires through all the many stages and phases of the first year.

Program Requirements

If Districts have a new hire after the program has started for the current school year, they can still register them to begin participating in the program at its current point. The teacher will then make-up the missed session(s) by participating in those the following school year. This wrap-around option will allow them to be program completers and receive the official documents needed for their next steps in certification.

Districts will receive formal completion letters and certificates via email when their new teachers have met the requirements.


Seated Sessions: 3 Required

Teachers are required to participate in 3 seated sessions. The District will select the seated sessions for their teachers.

✴️ Launch

Establishing and Maintaining a Positive Classroom Environment & Kicking Off a Successful First Year

For this required session, districts will select the date for their teachers when registering. It will be from 9-3 PM with lunch provided.

  • Aug 6th at Evangel University Crusader Hall, 1111 N Glenstone, Springfield MO | Optional Chat & Learn 8:30-9 AM: The What & Why of PSRS

  • August 14th at the Houston MS/HS Library, 423 W Pine, Houston MO

  • Aug 26th at the Marshfield HS Library, 370 State Hwy DD, Marshfield, MO | Optional Chat & Learn 3-3:30 PM: Student Loan Forgiveness - Does it apply to me? by Julie Kudrna from Horace Mann

✴️ Fall Session

Observation & Collaboration

The district will decide if their new teacher(s) will participate in learning and collaboration within their home district OR attend a GOCSD regional site visit to observe veteran teachers in action and have time to collaborate.

Districts who choose to have their teachers participate within their home district will receive a tailored checklist to address which will include topics like Educational Law. This will ensure alignment with your district focus areas and needed support.

  • 2nd Quarter: Late November/Early December with dates and locations to be determined by each district in partnership with GOCSD

✴️ Winter Session

Effective Delivery of Instruction Which Positively Impacts Student Learning

For this required session, districts will select the date for their teachers when registering. It will be from 9-3 PM with lunch provided.

  • Jan 3rd at the Republic Schools Board Room, 636 N Main Street, Republic MO

  • Jan 20th at Fordland Middle/High School, 1230 School Street, Fordland MO


Virtual Sessions: Pick 4

Teachers are required to participate in 4 virtual sessions, to equal one day of professional learning, but are welcome to join as many others as they want. Teachers will select their virtual sessions.

  • Nine unique and timely virtual sessions will be offered throughout the year.

  • All sessions will take place 4-5:30 PM.

  • Each session will be facilitated by expert voices across the region and differentiated as appropriate for different areas such as: Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, and Special Education.

  • Virtual sessions will be recorded and placed in our On-Demand catalog for access by participants.

✴️ 1st Hour of the 1st Day

Aug 13

What might that very first hour of the first day look like? What is critical to accomplish and include during this time?

✴️ Planning and Preparing for Effective Learning

Sept 12

How can I design and implement effective lessons? What are the key components that I should be focusing on? What ideas do others have regarding this?

✴️ Classroom Climate & Culture

Sept 24

We hear these terms a lot, but really what are they? And more importantly, why are they important in every classroom? Come learn not only the answer to these questions, but some great tips of where to get started.

✴️ Purposeful & Professional Communication

Oct 9

Gain tips for parent-teacher conferences and professional conversations with parents, community members, and colleagues.

✴️ Supporting Students with Behavioral Needs

Nov 14

Gain an understanding of student behaviors and how we might best support them. Topics discussed will include learning more about the functions of behavior and how to best handle our responses to behavior.

✴️ More Tips for Dealing with Challenging Behaviors to Help Relaunch 2nd Semester

Jan 21

Break is over and we sometimes see a resurgence of challenging behaviors. Come learn some great tips for heading into 2nd semester and also have a time to reflect on your implementation of key classroom management components.

✴️ Dealing with Challenging Conversations

Feb 6

How do we approach challenging topics with parents? A colleague? Come learn some professional tips from experienced educators to help guide your conversations, continuing to build your professional communication toolbox.

✴️ Springtime Collaboration

Mar 4

Discuss what is still to come as we head into the final part of this school year and gain some great resources to ensure a strong finish to the year with students.

✴️ That’s A Wrap

Apr 24

It is time to reflect and celebrate the successes from this year, and also brainstorm ideas to address any challenge areas in which we would like to improve. This information will be folded into the Year 2 program for continued learning.


Dr. Debbie Yonke

Dr. Debbie Yonke
Director of Professional Learning

Dr. Debbie Yonke retired as the Director of Professional Learning and Instructional Support at Republic Schools. During her 30 year career in public education, she has served as a classroom teacher, instructional specialist, and curriculum director. Her professional goal is to empower and support educators so that they might equip their students for a successful future. She has been blessed to serve alongside many other amazing educators in the Republic, Willard and Springfield districts and collaborate with leaders and teachers throughout Missouri. She also has had the opportunity to collaborate with educators throughout the nation as a Cooperative Learning Trainer and also partner with non-profit organizations to train teachers in both Cambodia and Ethiopia. In her free time, Dr. Yonke enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve who is a retired educator, their 3 daughters and grandchildren.

What District Leaders & Participants are Saying

Having the resource of GOCSD's Beginning Teacher Community has been an incredible asset for our first-year teachers, and to all who support them. From the collaboration, to gaining access to valuable tools for use in growing teacher pedagogy, I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about our BTC! Any district committed to expanding their support of new teachers would greatly benefit from becoming a part of this community!

Dr. KyAnne Weaver  


Our first-year teachers always looked forward to professional learning from BTAP. The teachers were excited to go to BTAP and it was not one more thing to do!

Mrs. Ashley Moyer  


I like that the program is hybrid with both virtual and in person offerings. I think it is important for new teachers to get some face time with others who are walking through the same struggles that they are, but I like that the bulk of the program can be done virtually and keep them from having to be out of class every month. I also love that the teachers get to pick the topics for the virtual sessions to really address what they perceive as their greatest needs.

Erica Armstrong  


For me, the GOCSD experience provides more than professional learning. It facilitates growth in your educational career while also providing the opportunity to make connections, utilize resources, and find support. These are all things educators desperately need and GOCSD is an excellent partnership for beginning educators.

Angelina Call  

   HS Science Teacher

The GOCSD Beginning Teacher sessions were awesome, providing loads of practical tips and strategies for classroom success. The speakers were top-notch, and the vibe was super supportive, making it easy to connect with fellow educators.

Faith Day  

   HS Fine Arts Teacher

The program provided an amazing opportunity for networking and support. It was great having other elementary teachers to bounce ideas off of or address challenges I was facing in my own classroom. The presenters and facilitators were also great about addressing different perspectives and making sure elementary, middle and high school teachers all had the support to get through this first year.

Elementary Teacher  


Additional Opportunities for Your New Teachers

On-Demand Catalog

Recordings of all virtual sessions will be available to program participants, organized in the Beginning Teachers Community Course in our On-Demand Catalog.

We also have several other free courses in our On-Demand Catalog that your new teachers might find helpful.

GOCSD Networks

We would love to have your new hires join for free any of our network sessions. For instance, we have a GOSPED Network that meets quarterly and would be a wonderful additional layer of support for any of your new Special Education hires.

Summer Learning

GOCSD often partners with member districts to provide seats for our members at their PL events. Two offerings in particular that would be of great benefit to first or second year teachers would be:

GOLearn Professional Learning Framework

GOLearn PL Framework

Our GOLearn PL Framework provides an overview of the learning experiences we offer. This systems approach supports continuous improvement and allows members to identify the offerings that meet their needs, providing a personalized experience. It includes three strands: Systems Thinking, Safe and Collaborative Culture, and Highly Effective Teaching and Leading.

We use the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning when designing our experiences to ensure that we provide professional learning that leads to high-quality leading, teaching, and learning for students and educators.

Review our GOLearn Framework to identify sessions that meet your needs, see what sessions are currently open for registration on our PL Events webpage, and access the content in our on-demand catalog to start learning now.

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