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Effective Teaching
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Special to the Gazette
November 2011

You Can Teach Classroom Management

  exclamation point

If you are an administrator or staff developer and you want to teach
classroom management, everything you need is in this article.

If you are a teacher and three months have passed since the new
school year began and you are wondering if you will make it through
this school year, take heart and see how far and fast a first year
teacher has progressed in her career.  Everything you need for
making progress is in this article.

pic3Diana Greenhouse came into education via an Alternative Certification Program in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2004.  She was one of a thousand teachers sitting in the audience as Harry was explaining “How to Be an Effective and Successful Teacher.”

Her first teaching job was in the Joshua Independent School District in Texas where she has been since 2005.

After her first month of teaching, we received an email from Diana and she said, “My school year is going so smoothly and it’s all because I have a plan.  I started the school year with a PowerPoint presentation of my classroom management plan to organize and structure my classroom and the students all know what to do.”  Click here to read about her plan.   

What we didn’t expect was an email from Diana at the end of her first year of teaching.  She said, “What an incredible school year this has been.  When I look back at all I’ve accomplished in one school year, it takes my breath away.  My students learned and I loved every minute of teaching and it all started with that very first minute of the very first day.  I started out my school year with a PowerPoint presentation of my classroom management plan and I closed it with another."

Now Diana had us hanging because we had never heard of a closing of the school year school PowerPoint presentation.  We asked her what this was.  She said that during the last week of school she gave each one of her students a blank PowerPoint template and said, "I want you to do three things on that template.  Put your name on it.  Share your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations. And finally, tell us what this school year has meant to you."

Diana assembled each student's PowerPoint slides and on the last day of school every student stood in front of the classroom with their slides.  They shared their names, their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations, and what the school year meant to them.  And Diana sat in the back of the classroom and cried all day long.

She says, "Thank you for giving me a gift that can't be taken away."

And what's that gift?  That gift is a classroom management plan for her success and for her students' success.

Her Second Year of Teaching

At the end of her second year of teaching, we get another email from Diana.  She says, "I need your advice.  The school district has asked me to take over the district's gifted and talented program and I am wondering if I should do it."  Our advice was that the research has shown that it takes 4 to 5 years to learn how to be an effective teacher.  We assured her that her time would come and there would be a future for her.  We encouraged her to continue developing her skills as an effective teacher.  She turned down the district's kind offer and returned to the classroom.

Her Fourth Year of Teaching

At the end of Diana's fourth year, the district asked her to conduct a workshop on classroom management for the entering new teachers.

Now recognize that by the fourth or fifth year, 50 percent of the teachers who enter teaching have already left the profession.  Yet, the Joshua Independent School District asked Diana, in her fourth year of teaching, to conduct a workshop for the district's new teachers.

We contend that all new teachers need not drop out of teaching, provided you know "How to Teach," not what program, philosophy, or ideology you are trying to implement.

Have you spent your formative years learning how to be proficient
in the three characteristics of effective teaching?

Her Sixth Year of Teaching

At the end of Diana's fifth year, 2010, the district asked her to move from the elementary school to be an Assistant Principal at the middle school.

The message is loud and clear.
There is a future for all new teachers.

Diana continued to teach the district's classroom management workshop using a PowerPoint presentation with a bank of 28 slides.

pic4Most of the slides are germane to district information. However, we have selected the four most important slides to share with you:

1.  Classroom Management, its organization
2.  First Day Script
3.  Establishing Procedures
4.  Concluding Synopsis

Click here to see these four slides.

If you are an administrator or staff developer, you can use these four slides
and have everything a teacher needs to start and manage a classroom.

When you look at Diana’s presentation and read what she does to prepare her new teachers, you know you are learning from someone with credibility.  This is what she has accomplished:

  2005-2006 1 3rd grade teacher  
  2006-2007 2 5th grade teacher  
  2007-2008 3 6th grade teacher  
  2008-2010 4, 5 6th grade teacher
New teacher training
  2010-present 6, 7 Assistant Principal
New teacher training

If you know what you are doing, you can be successful
at any grade and in any endeavor in education.
The benefit of your success—the students!

Examples of Classroom Management Implementation

You don't need to be an administrator to benefit from the PowerPoint presentation she uses to train the new teachers in her district.  If you are a teacher, everything you need to start and manage a classroom successfully is in the four slides used by Diana Greenhouse.

pic6Michelle St. John is a Title 1 teacher at Buhl Middle School in Idaho.  She heard us speak two months ago at a preschool presentation and one week later began her first year of teaching.  She said in a recent email, “Everything is going extremely well.  I have had no discipline problems and I give credit to the procedures that I have in place.  My first week is done and it was fantastic!!

"When the students enter the classroom, they see 'Welcome Work,' the agenda for the day, the bell schedule, and 'I can' statements."

The glow in Michelle's email was a result of her implementing the following procedures:


1.  Quieting the Class:  “Give Me 5—This works amazing!”

2.  Needing a Sharpened Pencil:  “I don't allow pencil sharpening in class.  I trade their
     unsharpened pencil with one of mine that is sharpened with no words exchanged—just a      sign.”

3.  Needing the Teacher's Help:  “I made a card for the desks that are green and say ‘I      understand’ on one side and then red and says ‘HELP!’ when they need help.  This also
     works amazingly well!”

4.  Greeting Students:  “I greet them at the door when they enter and when they exit.”

Michelle implemented these procedures as well:

  • Acceptable use of the restroom
  • How to pass papers
  • What to do when tardy to class
  • How to exit the classroom at the end of the period

Michelle says, "I am so excited to be teaching!"

pic7Karen Rogers is a high school biology teacher.  She is proud that she has become a specialist with At-Risk/SPED students in her school. She says, "My success is because I provide so much structure and consistency in my classroom."

When the students enter the classroom, there is always an agenda and objective posted.

Once the bellwork time is complete, she always starts by thanking them for something and telling them the "game plan" for the day even though it is clearly posted on the board.  They even tease her, "So what's the game plan, Ms. Rogers?"  It sets the stage for the class period.  The students know what to expect and they get right to work.

Karen finally says, "Another reason I am good with At-Risk/SPED kids (all kids) is my ability to love and forgive.  So many people in my life love and support me in spite of all my shortcomings.  I must give it back.  If a kid lashes out, displays negative, attention-seeking behaviors, or has personal issues which are having a negative influence at school, I can still love and teach them.
It is part of the learning and growing process."

Karen says,
"I am truly at my finest the first few weeks of school
because I know what to do!"

That's exactly what Diana Greenhouse and Michelle St. John typify, too.  The beauty of having a classroom management plan is that it helps you to know what you are doing and students feel safe and secure with teachers who know what they are doing.

Classroom Management Is Simple 

The elegance of a perfect rose does not happened by chance.  The grower took great pains to cultivate the soil, apply just the right amount of fertilizer, snip and trim the branches, and provide water as needed.  The process was simple, but it took hard work to achieve the beautiful flower.

The same is true in classrooms with a classroom management plan.  We know what to do to make it work—just look through the 100+ columns on this website and all of the successful application stories we've written.  The process of creating the plan was simple, but it took many hours of hard work and dedication to produce a classroom where learning takes place—even without the teacher present.

Classroom management is simple—we didn't say it was easy.  It is hard work to organize young people to prepare them for learning.

As Michelle St. John says, "I am so excited to be teaching!  "Classroom management makes that happen for you and your students.  Teaching is exciting and rewarding, once you have your classroom organized and the students ready to learn.

Learn from the examples in this article and the 100+ columns in the archive.  These effective teachers, administrators, and leaders know what to do and how to do it, and are successful at it.  You can do it, too!




For a printable version of this article click here.

About Effective Teaching...

Harry and Rosemary Wong have been writing columns for Teachers.Net for over 13 years and the columns all have a distinctive style. They write about effective teachers, administrators, schools, and school districts featuring techniques that are immediately replicable and at no cost. More importantly, they work to enhance student learning. An archive of past articles can be found at the end of every column, with an abstract of all articles at the end of the most recent June column.

For over 30 years, helping teachers become effective has been the passion of the Wongs. Writing for Teachers.Net is just one of the many ways they reach out to educators with their ideas on how effective teachers improve student learning.

About Harry & Rosemary Wong...

Harry and Rosemary WongHarry and Rosemary Wong are teachers.  Harry is a native of San Francisco and taught middle school and high school science.  Rosemary is a native of New Orleans and taught K-8, including working as the school media coordinator and student activity director.

Harry Wong has been awarded the Horace Mann Outstanding Educator Award, the National Teachers Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, the Science Teacher Achievement Recognition Award, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, and the Valley Forge Teacher's Medal.  He was selected as one of the most admired people in education by the readers of Instructor magazine.  Rosemary was chosen as one of California's first mentor teachers and has been awarded the Silicon Valley Distinguished Woman of the Year Award.  She was also honored as a Distinguished Alumnus from her alma maters, Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University.

Harry and Rosemary have been awarded the Upton Sinclair Award and were nominated for the Brock International Prize in Education. They have built and sustain a school in the jungles of Cambodia.

The Wongs are the most sought after speakers in education today, booked two years into the future. Their presentations are practical, offering a common sense, user-friendly, and no-cost approach to managing a classroom for high-level student success. Over a million teachers worldwide have heard their message. In spite of their heavily booked schedule, Harry and Rosemary have agreed to write this monthly column so that more people can hear their message.

How They Develop Effective Teachers...

Harry and Rosemary Wong are committed to developing effective teachers, one teacher at a time.
To do this, they have formed their own publishing company, of which Rosemary is the CEO.

THE Classroom Management Book is what everyone has been waiting for. It is an exhaustive extension of Unit C on classroom management in The First Days of School.


  • Turn chaos into student achievement
  • Reduce behavior issues; increase learning
  • Step-by-step plans to a well-managed classroom
  • 50 procedures in detail
  • 40 QR codes with additional resources
  • 320 pages in full color
  • Complete first days of school plans
  • Suitable for all grades, all subjects, all teachers
  • Costs no money to implement

How to Be an Effective and Successful Teacheris an audio CD set that was recorded live before 800 teachers in St. Louis.  Listen as they walk you through classrooms that hum with learning and share how you can replicate the same success in your classroom.  In 2 hours and 40 minutes, Harry and Rosemary can transform you into a very effective and successful teacher at no cost!

This presentation has transformed the lives and teaching success of hundreds of thousands of teachers.
Learn how to


  • Begin the school year with a plan
  • Start class immediately
  • Have a well-organized and structured classroom
  • Reduce discipline problems
  • Have students who are engaged and working
  • Teach procedures and responsibility
  • Maximize classroom instructional time
  • Use lesson objectives so students know what they are to learn
  • Use rubrics to assess for student learning
  • Deal with at-risk students
  • Improve student learning and achievement


The Wongs have written The First Days of School, the best-selling book ever in education. Over 3.8 million copies have been sold. It is used in 120 countries, 2,114 colleges, and most every new teacher induction program. The fourth edition has been translated into five foreign languages and includes:

  1. An additional chapter on procedures
  2. A new chapter on assessment with rubrics.
  3. A new chapter on Professional Learning Teams
  4. A new chapter for administrators on implementation 
  5. Additional information in Going Beyond Folders
  6. A new DVD, Using THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL, presented by Chelonnda Seroyer
TET The Wongs have also produced the DVD series, The Effective Teacher, winner of the Telly Award for the best educational video of the past twenty years and awarded the 1st place Gold Award in the International Film and Video Festival.

They also have a successful eLearning course, Classroom Management with Harry and Rosemary Wong.  The course can be taken in private at the learner's convenience.  The outcome of the course is a 2 inch binder with a personalized Classroom Management Action Plan.

This Action Plan is similar to the organized and structured plan used by all effective teachers.  Details for the classroom management course can be seen at

You can hear Harry Wong LIVE on a set of CDs, called
How to Improve Student Achievement
, recorded at one
of his many presentations.  He invites you to steal from him the secrets of effective teaching for all grade levels.
Never Cease to Learn has the power to transform your
attitude and your life.  In this DVD, Harry shares his journey on the road to success and tells listeners how to become the educators they were meant to be.

When the books, video series, CD, DVD, and eLearning course are used together, they form the most effective professional development training tool for producing effective teachers. Staff developers and administrators who would like to know how to implement the aforementioned book, video series, and CD are encouraged to consult the book, New Teacher Induction:  How to Train, Support, and Retain New Teachers.  Information about these products can be found by visiting the publisher's website at

Helping you produce effective teachers is our passion.

Harry & Rosemary Wong Columns on Teachers.Net...
Related Resources & Discussions on Teachers.Net...

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