Two Programs One Goal - Academic Achievement

Getting Off to a Good Start for Schools

If you’re a teacher, then you’re responsible for inspiring a classroom full of children or adolescents. If you’re a department head, then you’ve been tasked with leading fellow educators by example to do the same thing. But if you’re an administrator, then you’ve taken on the mission of guiding and encouraging an entire school or district to give their all – day after day – to ensure our nation’s future by teaching today’s K-12 students.

Tasked with this responsibility, if there were a single program that could help you help your teachers perform their jobs better than ever before, would you do it? Fortunately, there is such a research-based and evidence-based program that has been proven to work time and time again.

Achieve More with GOTAGS

Getting Off To A Good Start (or GOTAGS, for short) is a proven, research-based, and time-tested program that will help your teachers discover, define, and refine their classroom management philosophies, as well as outline and implement their classroom behavior management plans beginning on day one. And the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for you as an administrator is a more effective educational system with fewer disciplinary concerns and more class time for academics.

The GOTAGS Screencast emulates a staff development workshop experience as it leads your teachers step by step through the easily accessible GOTAGS workbook and guides them seamlessly through 20-plus classroom-focused on-line activities. When finished, they’ll have in hand a completely developed, proactive, personalized management plan for beginning the school year, ready to be implemented on the very first days of school.

As an administrator responsible for managing an entire school or school district, here’s specifically how GOTAGS can help you achieve your larger goals.

  1. Get Everyone on the Same Page – If your whole school completes the GOTAGS program, then:
    1. All faculty members will recognize the elements involved in proactively beginning the school year, and each teacher will have a fully prepared lesson plan outline for doing just that.
    2. Veteran mentor teachers, and the novice teachers whom they’re mentoring, will share a common language for their discussions about their classrooms, and they’ll be better able to share issues and ideas with each other.
    3. Administrators will have proof that all teachers have worked through the materials, as exhibited by each teacher’s completed electronic Activities Template built into the program.
  2. Better Prepare, Train, and Retain Your Best Teachers – If your school system uses the GOTAGS program for teacher professional development, then:
    1. Every one of your teachers will have gained some training (no matter their backgrounds) in the essential and proven skill of proactive classroom management
    2. All of your first-year teachers will share a common language in the area of class management for discussing issues with their veteran mentor teachers who've already completed the program.
    3. All of your new hires (no matter their previous years of teaching) will be more likely to have a positive experience during that school year (and the following ones), making them more likely to stay with your school system for longer.
  3. Save on Staff Development Financial Costs – By taking advantage of the GOTAGS two-year renewable screencast subscription
    1. You avoid the cost of an in-person consultant’s fee.
    2. For two years you are able to include and train an unlimited number of teachers within your school or school district.
    3. You have two years to see how this program works for you – and if you are satisfied, the next GOTAGS Screencast renewal is half price.
  4. Save on Staff Development Time Costs – By allowing teachers to complete the GOTAGS program independently
    1. There is no need to set aside a school-calendar day for this staff development program.
    2. Teachers have the opportunity to complete the program on their own time and at their own pace over the summer, off the school calendar.

The First Days of School are Crucial

By now, you’ve learned that every new school year is a chance for a new start in education. But where many schools and school districts make the first misstep is pushing teachers to rush immediately into the academics of learning, rather than encouraging them to take time that first week to establish communications, guidelines, and a class climate that optimizes that learning. Administrators across the country repeat this same mistake year after year. But with GOTAGS, you can finally reduce and even eliminate some of the problems that have been plaguing your classroom, department, school, or district for longer than you’d like to remember – simply by changing what teachers do in the first few days of the new school year (see Garwood et al., 2017).

Multiple educational researchers (see Sanford, 1984; Evertson, 1985; Evertson, 1989; Bonne et al., 2004) have found that what teachers do in the first days of school – no matter the grade level – has a definite correlation with student academic engagement and behavior management throughout the year, as well as academic achievement by the end of the year. This means that teachers who dedicate time at the beginning of the school year to developing, teaching, and consistently reinforcing classroom rules and procedures and other “going-to-school skills” get back more time to teach throughout the remainder of the year.

More specifically, off-task behavior was cut in HALF later in the year for classrooms that developed and taught class rules and procedures in that first week. And with more time for instruction, students in those classes had higher academic achievement at the end of the year (see Evertson et al., 1983: Emmer et al., 1983; Evertson 1985: Evertson. 1989), which results in better performance metrics for your school and its district.

GOTAGS Creates a Better Learning Environment

In the GOTAGS workbook, you’ll find numerous ideas and techniques to address those beginning-of-the-year “nonacademics” that set the stage for more academic teaching and learning time throughout the school year. These are ideas that effective teachers have used to begin the school year for decades now, things that you can use – or adapt and use – in your own classroom. These ideas come from author Dr. Alene Harris’ over 40 years in education – including 16 years as a teacher in suburban, inner city, and independent school secondary classrooms; and 26 years as a teacher and researcher at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education.

Writing from the perspective of both an experienced teacher and an educational researcher, the author also incorporates ideas from conversations with over 2,000+ experienced teachers throughout the United States and American territories who’ve participated in one of her 200+ research-based classroom management workshops, and then successfully applied the principles from these workshops in their own classrooms.

Learn More

Order GOTAGS. Find out more details about the GOTAGS program, look through the FAQ's or read customer reviews. You may also review resources cited. We have also prepared a brief video to introduce GOTAGS.

Take advantage of the program that has helped hundreds of teachers improve learning environments while rejuvenating their passion for teaching.