Every summer I like to read How to be an Effective Teacher the First Days of School by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong. It's a tradition. It also helps me to start the year organized, inspired, and confident. Here are my notes from each unit, plus additional information from internet searches, Pinterest, etc. that I found useful and actually do/use in my classroom from year to year.
I have read this book cover-to-cover at least 6 times!
Must read for new teachers.
Unit A helps you to understand why you are teaching in the first place.
1. Why you need to succeed on the first days of school:
- Consistency is key: this creates a safe environment for students that is also predictable and nurturing
Key elements of classroom management
- Script the first few days of school
- Some examples from the book and from online searches:
- Key steps to include in your script:
- Greet students
- Assign seats beforehand
- Have an assignment on board
- Introduce yourself
- Teach procedures
- Explain rules and daily procedures (included in discipline plan)
- Introduce centers and classroom (and how you want your materials treated)
- Organize notebooks, label folders
- Practice, practice, practice!!!
- Note: This is a very important step that I do every year. Before the first day of school, I go over my old scripts and change it up to make it work for the new year. I make notes to help with planning for the following year. It gives me piece of mind the night before the first day and everything runs so smoothly!
- Establish good control in the first week of school
- Know what you are doing
- Do things right and consistently (consistency is key)!!!
2. What is an effective teacher?
- The effective teacher
- has positive expectations
- be clear and state these expectations
- believes the learner can learn
- don't "write off" your low groups
- knows that the learner will perform at the levels we expect.
- low expectations = low levels of achievement
- A good classroom manager
3. How you can be a happy first-year teacher:
- The best teachers are also the best students
- never stop learning, reading, observing
- Here are some organizations listed in the book to reasearch as needed:
- Learning Disabilities Association of America
- Association for Educational Communications and Technologies
- Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented
- Council for Exceptional Children
- Council for Learning Disabilities
- International Society for Technology in Education
- National Association for Bilingual Education
- National Association for Gifted Children
- National Council for Teachers of Mathematics
- Induction training for new teachers
- to help you know what to do on the first day of school
- mentor programs available to new teachers through your school district
- Rely on your colleagues
- beg, borrow, steal
- find a positive mentor
- get to know all your colleagues
4. How you can be an effective veteran teacher:
- embrace change
- teach as enthusiastically as you expect your students to learn
- use the summer to recharge!
- remember that the school was built for the students, you are employed to serve them
- don't isolate yourself, be proactive
- don't be cynical
- bad habits are difficult to break
5. Why should you use proven research-based practices?
- It is erroneous to teach as you were taught.
- Teach based on achievement and the success of your students, not fads
- if something isn't working, toss it and try something new
- don't force a lesson because you want to stick to your plans, be flexible
- Research shows questioning should be done throughout the text, not at the end.
- time on task
- cooperative learning
- extensive reading
- Know what, how, and why you are doing something.
This concludes Unit A from How to be an Effective Teacher the First Days of School. I hope you found this helpful.
If you are reading/have read this book, what did you find most helpful from this unit? For me, it was the scripts. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to have those first few days organized!
*Posted with permission.
*Posted with permission.