I have very strong feelings about this book. Personally, I think most of it is useless. If you have zero classroom management skills, it could be a heI have very strong feelings about this book. Personally, I think most of it is useless. If you have zero classroom management skills, it could be a helpful resource. However, Harry Wong has some bizarre ideas about the teaching profession, many of which I do not agree with.
The most obvious example that springs to mind is his view on "dressing as a professional." (Yes, there is an entire section devoted to this.) He states that teachers should dress professionally because students see their parents leave home in business attire and that is what they have learned to equate with a professional adult. What schools has he been teaching in? In the rural school where I work, the majority of the parents are not leaving for work in suits. Most are a part of the working class where the focus is on making a living to feed your family, not on "looking like a professional."
Anyway, I could rant about many other issues that I disagree with. I did give it two stars though, as beginning teachers may find some of the content useful....more
Overall, I liked this book. I have post-it flags on dozens of pages, noting things I want to go back to, or items to make copies of. There is quite ofOverall, I liked this book. I have post-it flags on dozens of pages, noting things I want to go back to, or items to make copies of. There is quite of bit of practical advice, and I think it serves as a nice reference to have on hand.
That said, there are a few things about it that prevented me from rating it any higher. First off, the book says it is for K-12 classrooms, and in trying to be "everything to everybody" I felt that it wasn't as useful as it could have been if it were more narrow in its focus. A kindergarten teacher hardly faces the same issues each day that someone teaching AP English does. Are some things the same? Of course. But other times, the author was referring to something that didn't work for both grade levels. Making two editions, an elementary and a secondary, would have been ideal. About 50% of each book would have been the same practical tips, while the other half would cater to each specific level.
Some of the advice was so obvious as to induce eye rolling. Do teachers really need to be told not to swear in the classroom? Or to dress appropriately? If so, there are larger problems afoot. It always annoys me to have to slog through information like that in a teaching book, because I think that space could be devoted to something else.
Lastly, some of the advice sounded nice in theory, but wouldn't work in practice. One example is recording each interaction with students and students' families when a problem arises. As an elementary teacher who never has more than 30 students, that is time-consuming, but doable. My husband, a secondary teacher, sees nearly 150 students a day. Keeping a "file" on each one, as is recommended, would be nearly impossible. (This again refers to the book's topics not being suitable for all grade levels.)...more