Julia Schuyler's Reviews > The First Days Of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher

The First Days Of School by Harry K. Wong
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's review
Aug 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: teaching
Recommended for: teachers
Read in August, 2011 , read count: 2

Before my first year of teaching began, I tried to read this book -- but I was put off by its uncritical, chicken-soupy tone. And then I got to the section (yes, a whole section) devoted to the importance of dressing in business suits for teaching, and I tossed it in a closet. What, just because I have a tattoo and wear comfy clothes, I can't be the most effective teacher?

Two years later, after struggling and growing as a teacher, I found myself about to teach 8th grade for the first time, and I dug it out.

Turns out I missed a lot of great advice. Five-star advice, for the practical, nuts-and-bolts kind of things, for the basics of arranging a classroom, organizing materials, and preempting behavior issues. This book really helps with two things, even in secondary: managing time, and managing the physical classroom environment (both of which contribute to managing behavior).

Unfortunately, you will have to wade through a lot of self-advertisement and starry-eyed overstatements. And for big ideas, like classroom community or quality assessments....read elsewhere. But this book has helped me organize my classroom basics and I'm grateful enough for four stars. :)
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