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Entry Plan

Elizabeth Ward

As a teacher candidate I am often told, by many wonderful practicing teachers before me,
that the most important thing is to set the tone and be firm the moment that I walk into the
classroom. As I began my student teaching experience I took this advice for granted and didnt
truly understand how important it was to create an organized, effective classroom environment.
As I prepared for student teaching and planned the areas that I believed were most important I
allowed classroom management to fall by the wayside. It seemed logical to me that because my
cooperating teacher had classroom management procedures and practices set in place that it
wouldnt be necessary for me to create, present, or execute a classroom management plan
specific to my teaching experience. I am here to tell you that I was wrong and for those of you
that are veterans in the teaching profession I am sure that you are nodding your heads in
agreement and empathy, while quietly saying, We warned you.
As the weeks quickly pass by I was able to experience what teaching is like without a
cohesive classroom management plan. While in the process of navigating through this
experience, many wise teachers offered their advice and during an interview process I was able
to discuss strategies that would prepare me for the years ahead. I made the decision to interview
a mathematics teacher that has been an educator for 10 years, Mr. Maccarone, as well as a
teacher that is new to the education system and has been teaching for 3 years, Ms. Lecher. In
addition, I had the chance read a wonderful book titled, The First Days of School: How to be an
Effective Teacher. Each of my resources had unique insight that would guide me through the
process of my first day, week, and year of teaching. The common themes that jump off the pages
of all three resources include; classroom management procedures, preparation, and consistency.
Personal experience has lead me to completely understand that a well-managed
classroom is the foundation for learning (p. 4, Wong & Wong). When a teacher does not

Entry Plan

Elizabeth Ward

implement classroom management strategies during their first week of school they will
experience a classroom in which students do not achieve mastery and collectively the
environment will be in a constant state of confusion. When creating a well-managed classroom
environment it is important to, have a set of rules and stick to them no matter what (S. Lecher,
personal communication, April 23, 2015). Be very firm. You can always loosen up over the
year, but its almost impossible to tighten up once you have lost them (M. Maccarone, personal
communication, April 23, 2015).
Once you have created a classroom management plan you must review your list of
expectations, rules and regulations with your students (S. Lecher, personal communication, April
23, 2015). Whether it is a classroom or the workplace, people want to know exactly what is
going one, what they are getting, and what is happening. It is important to create consistency in
an effort to prevent students from asking, What are we doing today? A consistent set of
procedures, expectations, and rules creates a safe, predictable, and nurturing environment (p. 3
Wong & Wong).
The effective teacher establishes good control of the class in the very first week of
school (p. 6, Wong & Wong). Wong and Wong clearly state that control means that you know
what you are doing, your classroom procedures, and your professional responsibilities. I believe
that when you and your students are ready and organized it allows for learning to occur and
academic success to be achieved. As I create an effective teaching environment I believe it is
important to recognize that all three components work seamlessly as a unit and must be carefully
attended to in preparation for the first day of school to ensure a successful first year.
Resources
Wong, H. K. & Wong, R.T. (2009). The first days of school: How to be an effective teacher.

Entry Plan

Elizabeth Ward

Mount View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc.

Before School Begins:


Order any supplies that your district allows.
Gather any supplies that you may need and begin to organize those supplies
Pick up school calendar for the school district, curriculum guides, teachers editions
and supplementary materials.
Ready and study the course materials that will be used throughout the school year.
Create your professional goals.
Develop a course overview for the year that will guide your unit plan and lesson

plans for the school year.


Decide on the resources you will need for each unit of study.
Create a unit plan that will guide your preliminary lessons for student mastery.
Create a syllabus or planner for your students.
Create a statement of positive expectations that will demonstrate what the teacher

expects the learner to produce.


Put together materials that would be needed a substitute.
Make sure all the equipment that you will be using in your room works well.
Establish a classroom management plan that refers to all of the things I should do to
organize students, space, time, and material so students learning can take place.
Organize your desk, files, records, and checklist.
Design a learning environment that is conducive to student learning.
Create a plan of how to implement group strategies with high levels of involvement
and low levels of misbehavior.
Create a seating chart and first assignment.
Create a script to organize the class during the first two weeks.
Create a daily routine for attendance, bell-ringers, and checking for homework
completion.
Establish meaningful rules for success and clearly identify how rules will be
enforced.
Form a solid foundation for communicating with parents.
Help prepare a First Day of School Celebration with colleagues and school.
Create an Introduction bulletin board for the students, which should include: the
schedule, rules and procedures, a calendar, a big welcome, an assignment posted for
the students.
Investigate the Web page site you want to use to set up your class Web Page.

Entry Plan

Elizabeth Ward

Write a letter to parents and guardians introducing yourself.


Study your class rosters so you can be familiar with names.
Prepare take-home packets for your students that will include such items as;
emergency forms, schools rules, supply list, bus/transportation rule, welcome
message to parents/request from room parents, syllabus, and course schedule.
The First Day of School
Arrive early! Give the classroom one last check. Make sure your classroom is
inviting.
Greet students at the classroom door with a big smile and a ready hand shake.
Designate boards for subject area work, announcements, calendars, displays, and
boards for students to design.
Post important information next to classroom door: a cheery sign with your name

outside the door, a class list, grade level or subject, appropriate welcome or greeting.
Strive to pronounce each students name correctly.
Find out your students schedules for lunch, gym, art, music, and library.
Help students prepare their own name tags.
Present your prepared PowerPoint presentation that explains classroom

management procedures and expectations.


As you move through the day, explain and practice class routines.
Discuss class or individual goals and expectations.
Try to include an activity that provides opportunities for students to interact or
problem-solve.
The First Week of School:
Exhibit positive expectations toward all students.
Teach students to be in control of their own actions in a consistent classroom
environment.
Continue to establish the classroom management techniques that were presented the
first day of school.
Create and maintain a classroom climate that communicates positive expectations.
Pay attention to your students, listen to what they have to say, and learn who they
are.
Use thank you as a perfect transition so show students that you appreciate their
effort and kindness.
The First Year of Teaching:

Entry Plan

Elizabeth Ward

Continually acquire knowledge and skills through classes, workshops, conferences,


professional meetings, books, journals, CDs, DVDs, the Internet, and advanced
degrees.
Seek out colleagues who serve as role models.
Work cooperatively and learn from colleagues.
Continue to regulate and develop personal goals that guide the path of striving for
excellence.
Use proven, research-based teaching practices.
Be committed to seeing all students as able, valuable, responsible, and possessing
untapped potential in all worthwhile areas of human endeavor.