Thursday, June 26, 2014

Harry and Rosemary Wong

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to attend a conference by Harry and Rosemary Wong.  I was familiar with their classic The First Days of School, but not their new book, The Classroom Management Book.

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We were given a copy of the book as part of the conference registration.  It may look a little dull on the outside.... but it is engaging, practical, and full of good resources. There are loads of photos from real classrooms. The Wongs were inspired to create this book by Sarah Jondahl.  Sarah is a teacher who had a very successful first year after writing a detailed classroom management plan for herself.  Basically, the Wongs reminded me that whether you are new to teaching or have done it for years, you should have a carefully prepared plan for the first weeks of school.  A major point that the Wongs emphasized yesterday was the importance of modeling every school procedure for students so the classroom will run smoothly for the rest of the school year.

I did not have this opportunity last year, since I came into an existing kindergarten class in January. I tried to leave as many of the previous teacher's routines in place as possible, not wanting to disrupt the students any more than I had to.  Fortunately, her style and my style were pretty comparable.  Still, I am looking forward to "starting from scratch" this year.  I will be referring to this book often.  It even has 40 QR codes that you can use to "visit" amazing teachers and resources.  The conference and book have even reminded me of little things I used to do at the beginning of school that I had forgotten about over time.  That is a great reason to make myself a first day of school script (as they recommend).


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