FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success


[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Mary Ann Johnson



Based on one of the best-selling books on classroom management and student achievement, this course will help you make the first day of school, and every day, more successful!
Our text is The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry & Rosemary Wong. Regardless of your level of experience, you will enjoy the text and will want to savor it instead of rushing through. In addition to inspirational stories, you will find it packed with practical examples that you can take right to your classroom.
We’ll go step-by-step in the text through skills that will lead you to success. As you complete assignments, you will be inspired to be a teacher-leader instead of a stressed-out worker. With the economy down and class sizes up, it is more crucial than ever to use effective classroom procedures. You will learn practical, time-tested techniques for teaching and managing students. Decreasing your stress level, you will learn new skills to help decrease the achievement gap. You will master specific strategies to enhance student learning, as well as engaging techniques that inspire and motivate.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Studied management practices that result in high levels of student achievement.
  2. Reviewed their own personal classroom management style and created new procedures for use in the classroom. 
  3. Explored mastery learning and other effective ways of increasing student engagement.
  4. Designed their own professional teacher-leader plan to meet their needs and interests.
  5. Studied and implemented learning teams with other school personnel. 
  6. Reviewed and researched strategies to stay inspired as a teacher-leader.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



The First Days of School:  How to Be an Effective Teacher (Book with an enrichment DVD included. 4th Edition, ISBN# 097623316, by Harry K.Wong, Rosemary T. Wong Harry K. Wong Publications.  Approximately $20 from Amazon.

  • The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher (Book & DVD)
    ISBN# 0976423316
    by Harry K. Wong, Rosemary T. Wong
    Harry K. Wong Publications

    Buy from Amazon


Text cost approximately $20 from Amazon.


Mary Ann Johnson, M.Ed Adm. has worked with students of all levels, from alternative high school to gifted classes. She has also been a junior high vice principal and is now working with teachers for continuing education in classes, distance learning and building leadership groups. She is a teacher emeritus who has led seminars for educators which focus on developing a quality learner environment for students and for teachers. Her courses are research-based and resonate with user-friendly and energizing content.


FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: From Stress to Success

Anderson, Jeff. Everyday Editing. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers, 2007.  Move your students beyond the fear of the red pen. You will learn how to use mentor sentences and best practices to tackle “grammarphobia.” (Yours and/or your students) You will learn to teach writing and editing in a way that your students will not only understand, but also enjoy. The book is friendly to read and does not make you feel stupid about grammar. There are no “correct-alls,” just writing, revising and editing lessons and techniques that work. My class Editing Made Easy is based on this book.
Boushey, G., Moser, J., The Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers, 2006.
Written by real classroom teachers, this book presents practical strategies that actually work in the classroom. You will learn how to keep students engaged in reading while you work with small groups and individual students. The book uses best practices from research, but doesn't have any jargon. The book is consistently in the top 10 education books sold. You can read the book in 2 hours, and start implementing it in your classroom the next day. My Class Kids Will Love to Read and Write is based on this book.
Dodd, P., Sundheim, D., The 25 Best Time Management Tools and Techniques: How to Get More Done Without Driving Yourself Crazy. Chelsea: Peak Performance Press, 2005.  This is a very easy, to read book full of ideas and tips. It does not go into depth on the strategies, but gives summaries of the tips.
The First Six Weeks of School, Center for Responsible Schools, 2016, 304 pages. ISBN 987-1-892989-81-9.                                                                                                                                                                This comprehensive guide for K-6 teachers shows how to set up students for a year of engaging and productive learning.  The focus is positive teacher language to set high academic and behavioral expectations, getting students excited about schoolwork, and teaching classroom and academic routines that foster collaborative learning communities.
Jones, F., Fred Jones Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation. Santa Cruz: Fredric H. Jones Associates, 2007.  While this book has a lot of information on motivation and discipline, it also includes some invaluable information on how to decrease the amount of grading that you do, and how to do more of your grading while students are working, instead of after they finish. 
Morgenstern, Julie., Time Management from the Inside Out: The foolproof system for taking control of your schedule and your life. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004.  You will discover what time management techniques work for you. This book is not a set of skills that you impose on your life. You learn what time management techniques are effective for you and your personality. You will learn how to balance your time so you can get more done. Teaching should not be all work and no pleasure.  My class Saving Time is based on this book.
Powell, A., The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable. Due Season Press, 2009.  Mostly for elementary teachers, this book is full of timesaving tips. The book also talks about how to actually work a 35-40 hour workweek as a teacher and do a good job while working those hours. It has tips on managing your planning, grading and other time-management tips.