Wayne State University

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Large Crowd Benefited from How to Be a Successful and Effective Teacher Presentation Given by Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong

By Brandon Shamoun

On Monday, March 24, 2014, the Wayne State University (WSU) chapter of the Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA) invited Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong to the WSU campus to give a presentation on How to Be a Successful and Effective Teacher.  The three-hour presentation brought over 500 participants to campus, many of whom current WSU College of Education (COE) students. This free event was definitely a well anticipated success! “We were ecstatic to see the number of people show up and fill the auditorium of Community Arts Auditorium,” said SMEA president Stephanie Sepko.

The main topic that the Wongs talked about was how teachers need to take control of their classrooms as educators.  And stressed how this advice is critical for teachers from the first day of school. Teachers begin their first day at school ready to throw activities and ice breakers at students for them to work on but, without setting rules and procedures and establishing the proper climate in your classroom, the students will not respect these efforts. 

Dr. Harry Wong, a nationally renowned expert on teacher education, noted that there are three steps to teaching procedure: teach, rehearse, and reinforce. Following these steps must include some sort of physical engagement so that students actually understand the full meaning of what you want accomplished during the school year. “I read Dr. Wong’s book years ago as an undergraduate student, and I have been following this practice of teaching and reinforcing on the first days for the last eight years. I have found this procedure to truly work in my middle school classroom,” said WSU COE graduate alumnus Marcie Osmanagaj, who attended the presentation.

Many teachers always bring up the words behavior and discipline when talking about classroom management. The Wongs noted how these two management types are completely different and need to be dealt with separately. They also mentioned that to obtain great classroom management, you need to have some form of a classroom management action plan.  In developing a successful plan, the Wongs urged teachers to “steal” ideas from other colleagues, conferences, presentations, etc. to help better organize the overall classroom structure. One great website referenced was teachers.net. This free website has many different articles and resources written and created by teachers that allow anyone in the world to access, view and share.

“Teachers need to be effective and ready to go from day one. Without this happening from the start, students will just run all over you for the rest of the year! The websites Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong shared with us all will help me be an effective teacher,” said COE student William Alexander.

This was SMEA’s first large event, which was made possible due to the approval of funds by WSU’s Student Activity Budget Committee (SABC).  The SMEA hopes to sponsor a large-scale event every winter semester.  For information about the SMEA, visit smea.wayne.edu. Read more about the Wongs in the Upcoming Events section of the March 2014 issue of The Educator (see the Archive section).

[Brandon Shamoun is a student in the College of Education and the current College of Education representative on the Wayne State University Student Senate.]

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