The purpose of the Texas Standard Teacher Certificate Course is to ensure that teacher candidates are developing an expanding knowledge base and repertoire of skills related to content area instruction, classroom assessment, classroom environment, communication, family engagement, and professional development. The Professional Practicum selected (either the 10 month Probationary/Intern Teacher of Record or 14 week Clinical (Student) Teaching) allows teacher candidates to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions at an independent mastery level. Professional mentoring and coaching via licensed, experienced Texas educators are provided to every teacher candidate. Program field supervisors conduct ongoing formal observations of teaching performance throughout the teacher’s school employment or clinical teaching.
Course Instructor: Dr. John Doak
My goal is to help you earn a Texas Standard Teacher Certificate within the next few months. I love the teaching profession and hope that you will also. My public school experiences include service as a bilingual special education teacher (autism, specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, medically-fragile, and emotional/behavioral disturbances), bilingual educational diagnostician, special education principal, and special education director. I have served in Austin ISD, Dallas ISD, Highland Park ISD, Fort Worth ISD, and Houston ISD. Before developing this program, I was a Professor of Special Education at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. When I am not in the schools visiting teachers, I like to play my drums, ride my mountain bike, and tend to my ranch. I have a Siberian Husky, named "Bear" who loves to tag along!
a.) Engage the learning community. Read the assigned articles, share insights or questions about the course material, provide feedback or clarification to questions posed by peers or the instructors, contrast the course readings with your own background experiences, and critically analyze alternative points of view. Complete all module tasks in a timely fashion.
b.) Contribute to the creation of a goal-oriented, purposeful learning community. Students have the right to disagree with peers and the instructors, but they are also expected to respect others, independent of discrepancies in opinion, beliefs, and values.
c.) Create and nurture a safe, risk-free learning community by maintaining the confidentiality of discussions and any
other information presented or discussed in this course.
d.) Create, sustain, and replicate equal educational opportunities for all course participants. As the course instructor, my ultimate goal is for all program candidates to become successful, thriving professional educators who positively impact student learning.
Critical Policies, Procedures, and UDL Reading Tool:
All assignments must be submitted through the candidate's portal. Instructors are not responsible for assignments submitted via any other means, including email. For immediate assistance with coursework, please text your instructor and include the letters ASAP before the message.
Universal Design for Learning Tool: Activating Text To Speech.
You may activate text to speech capability in order to listen to PDF materials. First, save the article to your desktop or folder. Click on View in the document menu and scroll down to Read Out Loud. Click on Activate Read Out Loud. Once done, you may select Read Out Loud to read the current page or whole document.
Recommended Text: UDL: THEORY AND PRACTICE (FREE ONLINE EDITION).
Mandatory Articles: Provided via modules.
Mandatory Lectures: Provided via modules.
Mandatory Videos: Provided via modules.
Mandatory Technology: Secure Internet Access & PDF Viewer, such as ADOBE
Attendance and Academic Progress Policy:
This course spans one academic year. The course is self-paced but must be completed within one of year of program enrollment. All teacher candidates must fulfill these requirements to earn the Texas Standard Teacher Certificate:
1) participate in online discussions about academic matters via substantive posts;
2) initiate contact with faculty to ask questions about subject studies;
3) complete timed assignments;
4) take timed tests
5) attend webinars;
6.) engage course resources and materials;
7.) complete field-based classroom observations and activities under the supervision of the course instructor; and
8.) complete practice examinations.
9.) participate in group discussions
What is a “substantive post” for Course Discussion?
A substantive post adds to the discussion and encourages a response from your fellow classmates. Here are some guidelines to help you with discussion posts:
Explain why you agree or disagree, and add some examples to support your belief.
Relate your personal or work experiences to the topic at hand.
Ask additional questions of your classmates.
Make connections between the topics and the readings in the text.
Add ways you can apply lessons from the class to your work and educational life.
Write responses to your classmates that are at least 75 words.
Offer a two-word response like “I agree.”
Talk about something unrelated to the coursework, like a movie you saw recently.
Insult or mock classmates for their opinions. If you disagree, explain why you do — but in a constructive manner.
Course Standards: Texas Teacher Standards
Standard 1--Instructional Planning and Delivery. Teachers demonstrate their understanding of instructional planning and delivery by providing standards-based, data-driven, differentiated instruction that engages students, makes appropriate use of technology, and makes learning relevant for today's learners.
Standard 2--Knowledge of Students and Student Learning. Teachers work to ensure high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement outcomes for all students, taking into consideration each student's educational and developmental backgrounds and focusing on each student's needs.
Standard 3--Content Knowledge and Expertise. Teachers exhibit a comprehensive understanding of their content, discipline, and related pedagogy as demonstrated through the quality of the design and execution of lessons and their ability to match objectives and activities to relevant state standards.
Standard 4--Learning Environment. Teachers interact with students in respectful ways at all times, maintaining a physically and emotionally safe, supportive learning environment that is characterized by efficient and effective routines, clear expectations for student behavior, and organization that maximizes student learning.
Standard 5--Data-Driven Practice. Teachers use formal and informal methods to assess student growth aligned to instructional goals and course objectives and regularly review and analyze multiple sources of data to measure student progress and adjust instructional strategies and content delivery as needed.
Standard 6--Professional Practices and Responsibilities. Teachers consistently hold themselves to a high standard for individual development, pursue leadership opportunities, collaborate with other educational professionals, communicate regularly with stakeholders, maintain professional relationships, comply with all campus and school district policies, and conduct themselves ethically and with integrity.
Since the Institute is not a degree-granting institution, course progress is graded via Pass/Fail.
The grading scale is based upon the points earned divided by the total possible.
Pass = 70%-100% (900-1000 pts.)
Fail = Below 70%
Course instructional activities, discussions, lectures, and assessments are designed to promote the meaningful and inclusive participation of all individuals within a risk-free environment devoid of racism, ageism, linguicism, sexism, ableism,
classism, and other forms of prejudice and intolerance.