Two Programs, One Goal:
Academic Achievement

Effective Classroom Management – and GOTAGS

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 half 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. And it is authored by an educator who has a background of 16 years of classroom experience; 26 years of teacher preparation, educational research, and staff development experience; and who has dialogued with over 2,000 teachers across the country about class management strategies that work for them.

Classroom Management Techniques and Strategies

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 and learn from errors 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

GOTAGS Classroom Management Components

The techniques of GOTAGS are presented in book format, and those may be accompanied by screencast lessons that simulate an actual workshop session. 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

GOTAGS is a treasure trove for an individual teacher, whether the teacher works through the book with or without the optional accompanying screencast. The eight video segments simulate a workshop experience to guide a teacher in developing and implementing proactive measures that encourage positive student behavior and improve academic engagement and achievement.

Screencast Advantages

GOTAGS offers a screencast option that saves a school both money and time: the cost of on-site consultant plus the time required for an on-site inservice. With the screencast, faculty can engage in independent professional development over the summer – on their own schedule and at their own pace. Eight video segments simulate a workshop experience that guides teachers in developing and implementing proactive measures – measures that encourage positive student behavior and improve academic engagement and achievement. Also, professional development credit is possible with the screencast.

The screencast option offers a teacher a guided workshop experience, plus a sample of effective class management ideas from teachers across the U.S.