7/31/2013 8:57:00 AM 300 county teachers learn how to be more effective
Author and lecturer Harry Wong, right, reaches for his book, “The First Days of School” to autograph for Liberty Traditional School teacher Sally Stolz during a presentation at HUSD east campus on July 25.
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
More than 300 teachers, administrators and superintendents from Yavapai County public and charter schools attended a daylong workshop headlined by award-winning authors Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong at the Humboldt Unified School District east campus on July 25.
New teachers have relied on the Wongs' book "The First Days of School" for classroom management help since its first publication in 1991; the fourth edition came out in 2009.
Their PowerPoint presentation touched on how teachers can become more effective with classroom management skills that set procedures in place from the first day of school. Consistency is one of the most important things a teacher can offer to students, Harry Wong said.
"Kids don't like inconsistency. They need a place that's reliable, predictable, dependable and stable," he told the audience.
Good classroom management consists of telling students what to do (procedures) and what to learn (objectives). Rosemary Wong said students want to know if their teacher will treat them fairly. On the first day of school, that is one of the things teachers should talk about - they will be firm, fair and consistent, and they will not play favorites.
The process of teaching students classroom procedures includes an explanation and demonstration, rehearsal of the action, and reinforcement of the correct behavior. Some basic procedures include how to enter and leave the classroom, how to get the teacher's attention, how the teacher gets students' attention, how to take lecture notes, and how to turn in homework.
Steve Fonda taught for seven years in HUSD and will begin his first year in the Bagdad Unified School District on Aug. 7. During a break he and others brought up their battered and tabbed copies of the Wongs' book for an autograph.
"After seven years, I still get something out of it," Fonda said.
Eight teachers and administrator Sherry Bonner from Paulden Community School also attended the workshop. Bonner said she read the book 13 years ago and found it a tremendous help in the classroom.
Following the lunch break, presentations by district and charter superintendents and administrators touched on different perspectives of small and larger districts, professional conduct, communication strategies with parents, and a new mentoring program.
The Yavapai County Education Service Agency coordinated the event for all schools in the county. Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal gave the opening remarks.
Mike Aylstock, co-coordinator of the event along with Nancy Alexander, said the presentation was part of a two-year professional development plan paid for by school districts in Yavapai County through the Forest Fee Management Association. In addition to the day's program, new teachers will receive three follow-up meetings, a second workshop, and participation in a mentoring program. All teachers will receive training in Common Core standards and unit development. A leadership program also is available for current and aspiring administrators.