Two Programs One Goal - Academic Achievement

Effective Classroom Management Strategies

Start the Year Off Right

Every August, teachers return to classrooms determined to make the coming year better than the last. Looking forward to a new group of students, they work diligently in preparing classrooms and developing lesson plans for those first days, yet they often devote little time and attention to creating an effective – and essential – classroom management plan.

Classroom management is essential for student academic achievement (and teacher sanity), and an effective plan must begin on day one. Classroom management strategies incorporated in those first days serve as the WD-40 of a classroom throughout the year, enabling instructional activities to function smoothly.

"Effective teachers have a classroom management plan. This plan is crucial for a classroom to run consistently and smoothly so learning can take place." – Harry & Rosemary Wong

Unfortunately, only about 20% of teacher-licensing institutions offer courses in classroom management, and many of those are led by instructors with lots of theories but little or no experience in actual K-12 classrooms. This lack of personal experience on the part of an instructor does not prepare future teachers for classroom realities.

Teachers are classroom leaders. They use management techniques to organize, inspire, and guide students. Formerly, there was no research-based knowledge of proven practices, and these management and communication skills took years to figure out. Now there is an effective, research-based and teacher-tested classroom management plan available by book and by book plus screencast.

Master Classroom Management

Getting Off to a Good Start is a system of classroom management techniques and strategies based on more than 30 years of research and experience. GOTAGS is designed to accomplish the following:

  • Accelerate the effectiveness of new teachers
  • Assist teachers who have struggled with classroom management
  • Affirm teachers who effectively manage their classrooms
  • Provide a common language for teachers’ ongoing exchange of ideas

GOTAGS is much more than a system of rules or procedures. GOTAGS helps teachers:

  • ...identify and articulate their behavioral and academic expectations of students
  • ...clearly communicate these expectations to students and teach students how to be successful in meeting them
  • ...create a positive learning environment where students are free to make errors and learn from them without fear of ridicule

GOTAGS helps students:

  • ...understand classroom behavioral and academic expectations and how to meet them
  • ...recognize the link between effort and outcome
  • ...learn to self-monitor for choices and behaviors that lead to academic success
"My success in the classroom and, more importantly, the success of my students can be traced back to the ideas presented in GOTAGS." - Addison Pate, U.S. government/history teacher, Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School<

Classroom Management Strategies

The techniques of GOTAGS are presented in book format, and those may be accompanied by screencast lessons or live seminars. Major areas addressed include the following:

  • Arranging your classroom to support instruction
  • Structuring teacher/student introductions
  • Developing and teaching class procedures
  • Developing class rules (and teaching those using role play with student rehearsal and feedback)
  • Creating student self-check lists to teach and encourage academic accountability
  • Structuring initial, positive communication with parents
"I absolutely believe GOTAGS is something every new teacher should have!" - Elissa McIntyre, math teacher, Overton High School

While GOTAGS is a treasure trove for an individual teacher, with the screencast it can also be used by a school for faculty staff development. Live seminars for faculties may be contracted with the author, as may Train the Trainer seminars for school districts wishing to develop their own in-house certified GOTAGS trainers. These options allow schools and school systems to take proactive measures to encourage positive student behavior and improve academic engagement and achievement.

Note from the Author

GOTAGS is based on my in-depth studies of classroom time management and student management with fellow professors in Education and in Special Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and on my personal teaching experience (16 years, elementary and secondary) that this research validated. Multiple research studies formed the background of the Classroom Organization and Management Program (COMP), which I co-authored in 2003 and for which I served as the National Trainer. I’ve conducted workshops with over 2,000 teachers and administrators in over 40 states, and received feedback from those educators on what worked – and didn’t work – in classrooms.

I've observed, coded, and analyzed thousands of teacher/student interactions. Regarding effective classroom management, what I saw in research studies matched what I had observed and figured out as a teacher: Human behavior is similar no matter the age. Indeed, as a college professor I found both my grad and undergrad students required a classroom management plan just as my elementary, middle school, and high school classes had; and as a staff developer, I found those same strategies crucial in facilitating successful workshops with teachers and administrators.

A wealth of published research supports the message of GOTAGS. Research also documents which classroom management strategies the most effective teachers use in the first days of school. The problem is this information is not widely available.

Now that I’m retired (make that “redirected”), my goal is to share with teachers everywhere what no one shared with me throughout my K-12 teaching career: strategies for effective classroom management. I know this works; hundreds of teachers have reported the following results after using GOTAGS:

  • Increased confidence in starting the year
  • Increased student academic engagement
  • Increased student cooperation
  • Increased success of class rules
  • Increased efficiency of class procedures
  • Increased time spent in academics
  • Increased control of the classroom
  • Increased feelings of personal satisfaction in teaching
  • Decreased students off task
  • Decreased student office referrals

Purchase “Getting Off to a Good Start”

We invite you to read more about GOTAGS, review our testimonials, or watch the introductory video. The book is $29.95 and comes with a supplementary on-line template for all the instructional activities. The screen cast $49.95 is available to accompany the text and provides a full day’s workshop-like experience of step-by-step guidance though materials and activities. This resource, which is required for UOP credit, can be used by an individual teacher or in a staff development setting for multiple teachers.