Two Programs One Goal - Academic Achievement

About the Authors

Alene H. Harris

Dr. Alene Harris Alene H. Harris, Ph.D., certified elementary and secondary teacher and retired University professor, taught over 2,000 students in her 16 years as a classroom teacher (in rural, urban, and suburban schools) and over 1,000 college students in her 26 years as a professor. She has conducted workshops with over 2,000 teachers and administrators in over 40 states.

Dr. Harris developed the vocabulary programs over her 16 years as a classroom teacher, pulling from old etymology course notes and listening to her students share how they believed they learned best. She encourages teachers to “listen to your students,” for her final morphemes materials available today, It’s NOT Greek to Me! and Latin and Loving It! align completely with the proven learning theory published by the National Research Council (see How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School and Chapter 6).

She developed Getting Off to a Good Start: The First Three Days of School (GOTAGS) in the last 15 years of her tenure as a Research Asst. Professor of Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Both her research studies and her conversations with teachers in over 300 workshops related to classroom management contributed to GOTAGS. At the request of teachers in California and Tennessee, she and Jonathan are in the process of adding a companion text, Maintaining Momentum: Building on a Good Start.

Dr. Harris retired from teaching in 2014 but not from education. She currently serves as an educational consultant and is working on a third text in response to requests from teachers who did not get off to a good start: Creating a New Beginning: Reviewing and Revising Your Classroom Management, coauthored with Justin D. Garwood, Ph.D.

Jonathan Tomick

Jonathan Tomick

Jonathan Tomick worked with Dr. Harris for three years as a university student in researching and revising GOTAGS and has applied GOTAGS ideas as a teacher in rural, suburban, and urban settings, including special needs populations. He currently teaches at Jemicy School in Baltimore, MD.

Jonathan has experience in classrooms ranging from four students to thirty students and has worked to apply the principles of GOTAGS to each. He is a certified secondary teacher in two states, and has taught grades nine through twelve, including Advanced Placement English and Pre-AP English. As a certified GOTAGS Workshop Leader, he has conducted multiple workshops on classroom management for both preservice and inservice teachers.