Getting Off to a Good Start

GOTAGS for New Teachers – More Than a Survival Guide

If you are a new teacher, your goal is to develop proactive classroom management – a system that prevents problems from occurring rather than dealing with problems after they occur – that allows you to teach and students to learn. Where do you begin?

The answer is at the beginning – in the first days of school. And this is what GOTAGS addresses. Educational researchers have observed in hundreds of classrooms to identify things that more effective teachers (that is, teachers whose students have higher academic achievement and better behavior) do in those first days of school. When your author began teaching (several decade ago) there was no such knowledge base. Now there is! These more effective teachers prioritized time at the beginning of the school year to literally teach their students lessons on the “non-academics” of the classroom before moving on to the academics.

In the GOTAGS book, you’ll find numerous ideas and techniques to address those beginning-of-the-year “non-academics,” with activities that allow you to apply them directly to your classroom. When you teach lessons on these non-academics at the beginning of school, you set the stage for more academic teaching time for you and more academic learning time for your students for the remainder of the school year. When you set the stage for learning , address four common student anxieties, and initiate appropriate home-school communication, you set yourself and your students up for both behavioral and academic success. You maximize your teaching potential – and your students’ learning.

And if you are looking for a way to earn professional development hours. You’ll find this available with GOTAGS.

Read what first-year teachers say about GOTAGS.

  • Choosing and using appropriate consequences
  • Managing small group work
  • Improving student assessment
  • Enhancing student motivation

GOTAGS for Seasoned Teachers – Building on What You’ve Discovered

If you’ve been teaching for one or more years, you already know something about the importance of the first days: The direction you set in the first days determines the past of learning throughout the semester/year. You may or may not have had program preparation in classroom management before you began teaching, as fewer than half of teacher licensure programs offer evidence-based classroom management courses [see Freeman et al., 2014]. But you have figured things out along the way.

GOTAGS offers you the opportunity to compare what you have figured out against what has been proven by looking in hundreds of classrooms. You will likely find that

  1. you will want to keep some effective things you now know and do that are backed up by research,
  2. you will want to reinstate some effective things you once did and have forgotten about, and
  3. you will want to add some things you perhaps had never considered.

If you are a mentor teacher (and every professional seasoned teacher should fall in this category, whether or not designated as such), GOTAGS gives you an organizational framework and a language to share effective management strategies with new teachers.

Read what seasoned teachers say about GOTAGS.

GOTAGS for School Administrators – a Framework for Building Communication and Community

If you are responsible for developing a cadre of effective teachers, either school-wide or system-wide, you are constantly searching for effective, time-efficient, and cost-efficient ways to help your teachers maximize their teaching potential.

The fact is that likely fewer than half of your teachers entered the classroom with research-based classroom management knowledge and skills. Why? Fewer than half of U.S. teacher education programs provide any evidence-based classroom management courses (see Freeman et al., 2014). Sad to say, most teacher preparation programs are rich in theory and poor in classroom reality, and they leave future teachers ill-prepared to manage a classroom – at any age level. Indeed, some teachers enter the classroom with little or no educational background at all – especially in some independent schools and in programs such as Teach for America.

Enter the Getting Off to a Good Start: The First Three Days of School with screencast – a research-based, independent study program, aligned with evidence-based practices, that prepares teachers to begin the school year proactively, saves a school system time and money, gives teachers a common professional language, and demonstrates proven results that encourage teachers to remain in the classroom.

Read what administrators say about GOTAGS.