Like a lot of beginning teachers, my first year in the classroom was stressful and exciting. Establishing daily classroom routines seemed important, but how does a newbie go about doing that? Luckily, I had Harry Wong and his classic book, The First 100 Days of School. Wong’s book became a sort of bible for me that first year. This past year, I handed it off to a friend who was beginning his first year of teaching. I miss the book but I am glad to know it is going to good use with my friend.
Now, Wong has set up a quiz for teachers at his book’s website. He poses 20 questions about classroom management and regular routines that he says will allow you to reflect on your own teaching effectiveness. A quiz for teachers? Yikes! I took it and got the following results: “You can improve! You’re just surviving, aren’t you?” I hope I am doing more than that.
Here’s what I liked about the quiz: it really forced me to reflect on what I do in the classroom, from seating arrangements to making tests for units to how to begin the day. The site analyzes the answers (against Wong’s expectations) and then offers up some advice for the “wrong” answers. Again, even if I didn’t agree with Wong, I appreciated the (canned) feedback. For example, I answered “false” for this question: “The number of questions on a test is governed by the number of objectives on the assignment.” My feeling is that I gear my teaching around objectives, but nothing is ever one-for-one. I often focus on specific things, making some areas more important than others, and my assessments reflect that. Wong disagreed with me on that one. Sorry, Harry.
Go ahead. Take the quiz. See how you do.