Meetings With Parents, Colleagues Helping New Teachers

Two new HISD teachers are finding ways to get feedback from parents and support from experienced teachers.

Natalie Nelson, Michael Bennett, Brandi Latimer, Mariela Niland, Shelbi Craig

Michael Bennett, a second-grade teacher at Cage Elementary, holds monthly parent-teacher meetings. His goal is to update parents on their child’s progress, but he is also looking for feedback to determine what adjustments he needs to make as a teacher to help his students succeed. Read more about his strategy in his blog on

Mariela Niland, a social studies teacher at Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, loves Fridays, but not for the reason you may think. Fridays are when all the teachers in her department gather for a Professional Learning Community meeting. These meetings provide an opportunity to for her to get ideas and tips from other teachers. She’s also talking to some of her college classmates who became teachers. They’re sharing their experiences and letting each other know about resources they can use in their classrooms. Read more about her life as a new teacher in her blog on

Two other first-year teachers and one new-to-HISD teacher are also sharing their experiences in blogs on Chavez HS teacher Natalie Nelson talks about how yoga at school helps her de-stress, Hilliard ES fourth-grade teacher Brandi Latimer says she can’t stop telling her friends about her class, and YMCPA social studies teacher Shelbi Craig reveals her biggest struggles. Follow along on their journeys throughout the year and connect with them by posting comments or tweet them on the accounts listed on their blogs.