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Effective Teaching
by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Special to the Gazette
September 2014

How a University Prepares Its Students

At Ball State University in Indiana, students walk away with a Classroom Management Plan that they prepare in their class on management, organization, and instruction, taught by Mrs. Stacey Allred.  They are armed with binders, trifolds, and checklists—Sarah, Evan, and Jessica are eager and ready for their teaching careers to begin.

Click each picture to see each student's complete plan.

EDEL 300 – Management, Organization, and Instruction

Stacey Allred is celebrating her 20th year of teaching this year.  As an elementary and special education teacher, she used the techniques that effective teachers use to create a community of learners in the classroom:

  • Greeting students at the door
  • Learning students’ name as quickly as possible
  • Getting students to know one another
  • Celebrating successes
  • Asking questions about their lives
  • Sharing information about herself
  • Posting objectives before the lesson begins

Now as a member of the faculty at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, she still uses the same techniques to create a community of learners in her classroom.  Not only is Stacey modeling these techniques for her students to someday use in their classrooms, but it has an impact on the students’ perception of her as their teacher.

 

I actually look forward to this class.  I wish I could take more classes with Mrs. Allred; I feel like she actually knows me and cares.

 

________________

 

Mrs. Allred does a great job at giving examples for everything she asks for with each assignment.  This helps so much.  She also adds so much to the class by sharing her own experiences and ways to handle real life situations in the classroom.  I have learned so much from such a great teacher and I know I will continue to grow with the information she has taught everyone in class.  You can tell she truly cares!

 

________________

 

She puts the objective up on the board every day and meets that objective.  The objectives are explained not only for the course, but for the entire lesson every, single day.  She targets our learning, reminds us of due dates, and is so forward in her teaching.  I never fall behind in her class.  She explains everything clearly and adds humor from her own teaching career as well as others.  Tests and assignments are in line with objectives.

EDEL 300 is a dynamic blend of theory and practice where the students learn “Management, Organization, and Instruction in the Elementary Education Classroom.”  Notice the key words, “Management” and “Organization.”  Management, as in classroom management, is not about discipline; it is about organization.

 

Classroom management is NOT about DISCIPLINE.
Classroom management is about ORGANIZATION and CONSISTENCY.

When there is organization and consistency, then instruction and learning can
take place.

Because of her experience, Stacey is committed to equipping her students with the tools they need to manage their classrooms through proactive, positive strategies that prepare them for their very first day of teaching.  This includes the development of procedures and routines as well as a first day of school script.  Students are required to map out their entire first day beginning with a checklist of things that need to be accomplished prior to student arrival.  Additionally, students create a PowerPoint, Prezi, or a Glogster interactive poster detailing information about who they are as a person. 

As a culminating assignment, students produce a comprehensive Classroom Management Plan that includes a teaching philosophy, discipline brochure, a digital map detailing a classroom floor plan, and a first day of school script.

When the students finish this class, every student will leave with a binder containing their Classroom Management Plan, a plan they can use to organize their classroom for learning.

Ball State students with their Classroom Management Plans

Bear in mind that these students are juniors, who have student teaching and a year to go before graduation.  Their plans will be tweaked before teaching, but what a foundation these prospective teachers have in understanding how to organize and manage a classroom.

Creating the Classroom Management Plan

Although the student can be creative, five basic parts are needed for the plan:

 
  1. Philosophy of Education:  Create a graphic representation of two theories or researchers they identify with.
  2. Preparation for the Day:  Create a letter of introduction to the parents and students and a first day opening assignment.
  3. Classroom Management Procedures:  Create detailed steps of the procedures needed to manage the class smoothly.  This can range from arrival to dismissal procedures and everything else in between.
  4. Discipline Plan/Rules:  Create a discipline plan with no more than five rules and the consequences for not following the rules.
  5. Seating:  Create a computer drawing of the classroom with a rationale and seating assignment method.

Stacey has created a Plan Rubric for her students to assess their progress as they create their plans. 

First Day of School Script

A component of the Classroom Management Plan is a first day of school script.

The students develop a script that details events for the very first day of school.  The script should include these details:

 
  1. Before students arrive checklist for you
  2. Introductory letters to both parents and students
  3. Teacher welcome in Prezi or Power Point or Glogster.com presentation
  4. A detailed outline of procedures and routines
  5. A discipline plan with the classroom rules
  6. A tentative agenda/schedule for the day with specific times and subjects (i.e. 9:00 Bell Work, 11:30 Lunch/Recess)

Stacey has created a Script Rubric for her students to assess their progress as they create their scripts. 

The students are encouraged to use The First Days of School and THE Classroom Management Book as supplemental resources.  

Passionate About Her Profession

One student said, “Mrs. Allred has an incredible enthusiasm for her subject and is an expert in the field.  Her instruction is high quality and is focused on our learning, rather than just presenting material.  She's also a very kind and loving person to her students.”

The reason Stacey is so enthusiastic is because she has been there!  So often we hear the complaint that many college instructors have not been in the classroom.  Not so with Stacey Allred.  When she joined the faculty at Ball State University, she was lucky enough to have a department chair that took time to survey her teaching strengths and matched them with a course.  She has been extremely grateful for that.

Stacey says, “I tell the students all the time in my instructional methods and classroom management classes that I am just an ordinary teacher who has had extraordinary opportunities.
I even wrote to the Wongs, and they have been the catalysts in pushing me to take risks, not to be afraid of challenges, and reminding me to continue to be passionate about my profession.”

During the 16-week semester EDEL 300 class, students see the progression of research and practices dating back to the 1950's with Fritz Redl and William Wattenberg and trace them up to the present day work of the Wongs.  They see the common thread throughout all research:  student self-discipline.  They see that responsibility can only take place when there are procedures that one can be responsible to.  This sets an important foundation to affirm and validate the need for a proactive management system that involves student accountability.

The adopted text for EDEL 300 is The First Days of School and Stacey says, “The students absolutely love this book.  Over the past years, I am repeatedly told by students that this is one of their favorite books, extremely practical, and simple to read and comprehend.  I even had a student one semester confess that he had not read a textbook thoroughly his first three years of college until he came in contact with The First Days of School.”

The First Days of School was so meaningful in her life, Stacey says, “Because it is connected to my own personal growth as a teacher and professional.  I share numerous stories throughout the semester of how this book changed my life as a teacher.  I hope this inspires my students to actively pursue the path of a teacher-leader.

“I tell my students that until I read The First Days of School, I considered myself to be pretty competent at management.  It wasn’t until I learned about procedures and implemented them that I realized I wasn’t as effective as I thought.  I was at a pivotal point in my career.  I could continue down the road of a “good” teacher or learn how to be an “effective” teacher as outlined by the Wongs’ book.  My initial reaction was ‘why didn’t someone tell me these things earlier?’  I could have been very effective my first year of teaching.”

When students see this type of passion in their teacher, they immediately connect with you and the class you teach. 

Stacey Looks Forward to Each Year

Stacey emphasizes with her students that they will be faced with making many decisions. Sometimes the best decision is not always the most popular or the easiest.  If they want to truly be effective at their jobs, then they must continue to read, learn, and grow throughout their entire teaching careers.  

Stacey shares, “Each semester it is a privilege and joy for me to work alongside dedicated faculty and be a part of opening students’ eyes to effective teaching practices.  

“After 19 years of teaching experience, I still look forward
to what each new year will bring!”

An Ounce of Preparation

So many of our veteran colleagues say, “If I only knew then, what I know now.”  We say the same thing!  We can only imagine how more effective we could have been if we had had a college instructor such as Stacey Allred. 

In the August 2013 T.net column we featured three more universities and how they are preparing teachers for their careers.  All of these universities recognize the importance of laying a solid foundation at the start of the school year by teaching Classroom Management courses.  These students get a clear picture of what success will look like—even before they are hired to teach.

Other universities choose to embed their Classroom Management instruction within content courses.  Students in these types of classes often express their lack of readiness for the true challenges of the classroom as their preparation was not as focused on the skill of setting up a successful classroom from the start.

We commend those college instructors and professors who teach courses in Classroom Management.  They are blazing the path to ensure success for all of their students.  And who really gains from this preparation?  The students.  They are the ones who are greeted with confidence on the first day of school and assured they are in good hands for the rest of the school year.

 

 

 


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.

FDS4

  • 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

FDS4

  • 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

FDS4


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.
CMC

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 www.ClassroomManagement.com.

ISA
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 www.HarryWong.com.

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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