Dr. Alene Harris – Ready To Teach Developer / Lead Author

Dr. Alene Harris taught over 2,000 elementary and secondary students in Nashville, TN, for 16 years, including suburban, inner city, and private school classrooms, before pursuing a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. For three years as Research Assistant Professor of Special Education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, she coordinated research involving classroom management, effective teaching, and mainstreamed students. It was at this time that Dr. Harris realized how powerful the research findings were and that they had to be shared.

For the next 10 years as a Research Assistant Professor of Education she developed both teacher- and trainer-level workshop curricula for Vanderbilt University, and this work has now reached over 50,000 teachers.

Over the past 40 years, she has conducted over 200 classroom management workshops throughout the United States and American territories, personally interacting with over 3,000 teachers and administrators and always encouraging each of these educators to share what has worked for them in their classrooms and schools. Ready To Teach classroom management materials reflect both educational research and finding from many conversations with teachers and administrators across the nation.

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As a middle school language arts teacher, in her first year of teaching she began developing the Greek and Latin Morphemes programs for eighth-graders turned off by traditional vocabulary programs. She honed these lessons over the next 15 years, and organized them into mini-courses to share with future secondary English teachers when she began teaching an English Education course at Peabody College. At the request and advice of a homeschooling organization, she revised them yet again for independent learning.

Dr. Harris is now retired from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, where she taught courses in Educational Foundations, Classroom Management, and English Education; and where she also served as the Director of Education Programs of the VaNTH Engineering Research Center (ERC) in Bioengineering Educational Technology, developing and conducting workshops for over 300 college professors in 20 universities in applying principles of effective teaching and learning in college-level classes. She remains a licensed teacher at both the elementary and secondary (English Language Arts & Life Science) levels. She continues to develop materials to help teachers and to conduct classroom management workshops for K-12 educators.

Dr. Justin D. Garwood, Co-Author

Justin D. Garwood, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont (UVM). Dr. Garwood completed his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and for two years prior to coming to UVM was an Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University.

His research and teaching focuses on students with and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) across three specific areas: (1) pre-service preparation and teachers use of relationship-based pedagogy, (2) literacy interventions, and (3) classroom management.

Dr. Garwood’s research has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children – Division of Research for the Early Career Publication Award (2018) and the American Council on Rural Special Education for the Research Article of the Year (2019). His teaching was also recognized by the NC Council for Exceptional Children – Teacher Education Division for the Outstanding Early Career Award in Teacher Preparation (2018).

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Jonathan Tomick, Co-Author

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 populations with special needs. He currently works as a tutor in Baltimore, MD specializing in standardized test prep.

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 seven through twelve, including Advanced Placement English and Pre-AP English. As a certified GOTAGS Workshop Leader, he has conducted workshops on classroom management for both preservice and inservice teachers.

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