Well first let me start off by welcoming you to the smoking meats forums. You have probably found the most useful site on the net for this hobby.
When you get a chance, stop on over at the Roll Call section and give us all a good introduction. Name, where your from, hobbies and so on. A great bunch of people here who are more than happy to help you on your smoking needs.
A few things we will need to know. You say it's an electric smoker? What kind? Brand?
Your meat thermometer, is it the probe type with dial on top?
You don't have to leave the therm in there while it's smoking, in fact, some are just meant for checking and not meant to be left it.
Answer these questions with any other info and we'll help you the best we can.
Remember, no such thing as a dumb question here. We all had to start somewhere, so any question, especially being new to this hobby is very very welcome.
Hope you enjoy your stay with us, if you stick with this hobby and learn the ins and outs of it, I think you will be hooked.