First Days of School by Harry Wong

First Days of School by Harry Wong

The Definitive Guide to Classroom Management
A MUST read for a first year teacher is "The First Days of School" by Harry Wong. I heard him speak and he was fantastic. I read the book several times before my first year and repeated some sections after that. It is a great guide to being an effective teacher. There are other books for first year teacher, I have two or three others (Yes, I was very anxious that summer.) but none were as helpful as Wong's book.

The following are excerpts from "First Days of School" bu Harry Wong.:

Seven Things Students Want to Know

What you do on the first days of school will determine your success for the rest of the school year. Nearly every teacher goes out to teach with no instruction or knowledge and no experience on what to do on the first day of school. Yet there is overwhelming evidence that the first two to three weeks of school are critical in determining how well students will achieve for the remainder of the year.

Seven Things Students Want to Know on the First Day of School
1. Am I in the right room?
2. Where am I supposed to sit?
3. What are the rules in this classroom?
4. What will I be doing this year?
5. How will I be graded?
6. Who is the teacher as a person?
7. Will the teacher treat me as a human being.

How to Have Students Do What You Want Them To Do

The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is the lack of procedures and routines.

The Difference Between Discipline and Procedures

Discipline: Concerns how students behave.
Procedures: Concern how things are done.

Discipline: Has penalties and rewards.
Procedures: Have no penalties and rewards.

Every time the teacher wants something done, there must be a procedure or set of procedures. For instance, have procedures for taking roll, exchanging papers, what to do when a pencil breaks, what to do when entering the room, how a paper is to be done, and what to do when you finish your work early. If not, time that should be spent on learning will be wasted getting these procedures done. Every class needs a set of procedures to operate smoothly. Most behavior problems in the classroom are caused by the teachers’ failure to teach students how to follow procedures.

Contents of The First Days of School by Harry Wong

Unit A: Basic Understanding - The Teacher
1. What You Need to Succeed on the First Days of School
2. What is an Effective Teacher?
3. How You Can be a Happy First-Year Teacher
4. What You Must Understand Before You Sign That Contract
5. Why You Should Use Proven Research-based Practices

Unit B: First Characteristic - Positive Expectations
6. Why Positive Expectations are Important
7. How to Help All Students Succeed
8. How to Dress for Success
9. How to Invite Students to Learn
10. How to Increase Positive Student Behavior

Unit C. Second Characteristic - Classroom Management
11. How to Have a Well-managed Classroom
12. How to Have Your Classroom Ready
13. How to Introduce Yourself to Your Class
14. How to Arrange and Assign Seating
15. How to Post Your Assignments
16. When and How to Take Roll
17. How to Maintain an Effective Grade Record Book
18. How to Have an Effective Discipline Plan; Part 1: Rules
19. How to Have an Effective Discipline Plan; Part 2: Consequences and Rewards
20. How to Have Students Follow Classroom Procedures

Unit D. Third Characteristic - Lesson Mastery
21. How to Increase Student Learning and Achievement
22. How to Get your Students to Do Their Assignments
23. How to Get your Students to Pass Their Tests
24. How to Get your Students to Work Cooperatively

Unit E. Future Understandings - The Professional
25. How to Achieve Happiness and Success as a Teacher
26. How You Can Become a Professional Educator

The First Days of School by Harry Wong

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