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Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW

Literature Review:
The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher
Heather Coates
National University

Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW

Abstract
Although we have all been in a classroom before, not all have been in the role of teacher.
Education is constantly changing, and there is no one way that has been proven best to set up a
classroom, or be an effective teacher. Harry and Rosemary Wong go into detail as to methods
that work in the classroom. From classroom management, lesson planning, and being an
effective teacher, the Wongs walk the reader through techniques that they have found most
beneficial in the classroom. This literature review will discuss the book The First Days of
School: How to be an Effective Teacher and how it relates to Domain F along with TPE 12 and
TPE 13.

Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW

Harry and Rosemary Wong are both teachers, who used their experiences and knowledge
to write about being an effective teacher. Harry Wong gives lectures on being an effective
teacher and has been recorded on his extensive knowledge of the topic. Any new teacher could
gain an immense amount of information by reading their book or listening to Harry Wong speak.
The successful teacher must know and practice the three characteristics of an effective
teacher (Wong, p. 1). In this book it seems as though two topics are consistently brought up,
classroom management and the effective teacher. Wong reminds us throughout the book that in
order to have an organized and well-structured classroom, one must be an effective teacher.
Wong states that there are three characteristics of an effective teacher, has positive expectations
for student success, be an extremely good classroom manager, and know how to design lessons
for student mastery (p. 10). Regardless of what grade or subject being taught, effective teachers
are capable of all of the above.
In order to be an effective teacher, classroom management must plan a very important
role to the teacher. Classroom management is necessary to provide students an environment
where they can focus on learning. Throughout the book we are reminded of the importance of
setting up procedures and routines. Wong reminds the reader that the most important thing to do
at the beginning of the year is focusing on classroom management, and not moving onto material
until the students have got the procedures and routines down. As a new teacher, it is not
explicitly taught how to set up a successful classroom, this is where Harry Wong comes into
play. If a teacher does not start the classroom with structure and management then they are
setting up for failure throughout the year. From seating, to getting to know your students, to even
taking roll, Wong reminds us that there is a better way of doing it all. Taking time out to do

Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW

something as easy as roll gives away the classroom management allowing students to take
control of the classroom.
In having a successful classroom, teachers must realize that they need to take charge and
create a positive environment filled with enough structure for students to thrive. Throughout the
book, Wong reminds readers that we must take steps to ensure our classroom is a place that
allows students to focus on learning. This reminds teachers that in order to assist our students
with their growth, we must continue to improve and grow as professionals as well. Although
there are many ways to be successful in the classroom, Wong encourages teachers to take charge
of their classrooms and design them so that students are able to focus solely on their learning.

Running Head: LITERATURE REVIEW

References
Wong, H. K., & Wong, R. T. (1998). The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher.
Mountain View, CA: Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc.