Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1st Days of School

My first year teaching was a big shocker to me in terms of classroom management. I figured I had student taught so I could handle my own classroom no problem. What I didn't realize was how much work my cooperating teacher put into developing routines, procedures and expectations at the beginning of the year before I was there. I mean, I knew a well managed classroom doesn't just materialize, but I guess I just never quite grasped what goes into creating one.

After experiencing year one I knew what I DIDN'T want, but I still wasn't quite sure how to get what I DID want. One of my friends lent me The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong during the summer between my first and second years and it helped me a lot. I finally understood that routines and procedures need to be taught, and that expectations need to be clear.

The book also made me realize that I didn't even have a clear understanding of my expectations. If I didn't know what I expected of my students how on Earth are they supposed to know?? I knew my mathematics/academic expectations of my students, but I needed to figure out exactly what I expected of them socially and reinforce those expectations.

I'm happy to report that year two went MUCH better than my first year (and I even had more difficult students!!) Not everyone agrees with Harry Wong and I don't even agree with the entire book myself, but I do wish it was something that had been part of my training as a teacher.


  1. I remember reading this book, as well as Fred Jones 'Tools for Teaching'. Both of them have great ideas!

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