About Katrina Ayres


Katrina Ayres, Author, Speaker, TrainerKatrina Ayres is a certified teacher, author, and speaker from Portland, Oregon who has more than 20 years of experience teaching elementary and secondary students in both rural and urban settings. She has written three books on the topic of classroom management, and hundreds of educators all over the world subscribe to her Monday Morning Sanity Boost, a weekly blog of classroom management hints. Once a full-time teacher, she now presents at conferences and schools all over the country while continuing to hone her classroom management skills as a substitute teacher in a large school district in Oregon.

All The Ways I Screwed Up My First Year of TeachingTransforming Failure Into Success

Katrina’s first teaching job was a miserable failure. She struggled with classroom management so much she became clinically depressed and almost quit teaching. Then she regained her power by learning the art and skill of classroom management so she could once again have fun and enjoy teaching. She turned this experience into her first book, All The Ways I Screwed Up My First Year of Teaching, and How You Can Avoid Doing It, Too.

5-Minute Classroom Management HintsIn 2011 she became a Certified Associate Trainer with the Center For Teacher Effectiveness and began presenting Classroom Management Strategies That Work professional development seminars. As she spoke with educators from all over the country, she realized many of them feel alone and unsupported in the classroom, so she started The Monday Morning Sanity Boost to offer encouragement and practical advice. She compiled these hints and strategies into her next book, 5-Minute Classroom Management Hints.

VictoryA Message of Inspiration

Katrina believes educators have the most difficult, and the most important, job there is. She is on a mission to equip educators with the tools they need to survive and thrive. Whether it’s a weekly message reminding teachers they are not alone, or an inspiring kick-off speech to start the new year right, Katrina is here to help our schools succeed.

“After twenty-five years of teaching, I felt revitalized and excited about my classroom again. Thanks so much!”  – Ms. C. Cox, Middle School Teacher

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Looking for a High-Value Inspirational
Speaker For Your Event?

Katrina provides a variety of keynotes, breakout sessions, and professional development days for schools, districts, and educational conferences all over the United States and Canada.

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Let’s Talk About Your Next Event

I look forward to creating the perfect speech or training for your group. Please let me know what you need, and I will respond within one business day.

Katrina can create a custom presentation for your event, or you may choose one of her standard speeches below.


Keynote Presentation


Back-To-School – The Crucial First Minutes of Your Year

For schools, school districts, and education service districts • 45-60 min keynote

Like it or not, you will be meeting your new students in just a few days, and it’s time to use that beginning-of-school energy to your advantage. What you do in the first few minutes of class can determine whether you will struggle or succeed the entire year. You will learn:
• The one mistake that even experienced teachers make, and what to do instead
• How to set limits and expectations without being bossy, weak, or whiney
• How to quickly develop positive relationships with your students so you can keep that “honeymoon phase” going all year long

Characteristics of Awesome Teachers

For educational conferences, awards events, and inspirational gatherings • 45-60 min keynote

We all agree that every student deserves an awesome teacher, but what does that really mean? Sometimes the educators that make the biggest difference in our communities are not flashy, bold, or brilliant. Yet they consistently inspire students, parents, and other educators. How do they do it? They focus on what’s important, and leave the rest alone. In this inspiring presentation, you will learn:
• The top three characteristics that set great teachers apart
• Simple daily practices to nurture awesomeness in yourself and your students
• Where to go for inspiration and encouragement

How to Keep Your Sanity in the Classroom

For educational conferences, school districts, and education service districts • 45-60 min keynote

It’s no secret that teaching is challenging. Educators must make thousands of decisions every day and manage an overwhelming number of tasks. The students who need us most are sometimes the hardest to deal with. So how do you balance everything and keep your sanity? This presentation will show you five simple practices to keep you emotionally and physically healthy so you can be your best for your students.

How Not to Screw Up Your First Year of Teaching: Success Strategies That Work

For new teachers, student teachers, and pre-service teachers • 45-60 min keynote

Schools and school districts nationwide spend millions recruiting and training new teachers, and nearly half of those teachers leave the profession within their first five years. Even smart, savvy teachers from the best colleges tend to make “newbie” mistakes that can be easily avoided with the right guidance. In this funny and inspiring keynote, Katrina shares her top three new teacher mistakes, and shows you what to do instead. You will learn:
• The most important thing to do before school starts to set up your whole year for success
• The worst mistakes a new teacher can make and how to avoid them
• Where to spend your time and energy so you can make it, and even thrive, in your first year of teaching

Keynotes are $1,850-3,850 plus travel expenses


Katrina PresentingMediocre Is The Enemy of Awesome

For new and experienced teachers • 45-90 min

Are you so busy being a “good enough” teacher that you are unable to become the awesome teacher your students deserve? Learn the characteristics that all awesome teachers have that mediocre teachers don’t, and the top three actions you can take each day to motivate, stretch, and inspire yourself and your students to scale new heights in the classroom.

How to Keep Your Students in Class and On Task

For administrators, instructional coaches, discipline coordinators, and teachers • 45-90 min

Students learn nothing in the office. Yet some teachers repeatedly refer students to the office for low-level behavior issues such as eye-rolling and pencil tapping, wasting hours of valuable administrative and instructional time. This breakout presentation will show you specific, proven strategies you can implement immediately, including:
• How to create effective classroom routines to minimize interruptions and increase instructional time
• How to avoid power struggles with students
• The one characteristic you MUST have when interacting with students (or it’s all over)

Breakout Session Fees: $495-$1,495 plus travel expenses

I offer a limited number of breakout presentations each year at professional educator conferences for reduced compensation. In exchange, I request complimentary admission to the conference, reimbursement of travel expenses, permission to offer books for sale, and an exhibitor table.



Classroom Management Strategies That Work

Full day PD for teachers & classified staff • $95-$198 per person • 200-page resource manual included

Are you ready to dramatically reduce discipline referrals at your school? Empower your staff with the tools they need to handle low-level discipline issues in the classroom instead of referring them to the office. Your staff will learn:
• How to ask students just once and get the behaviors they want 80-90% of the time
• How to teach classroom routines the right way so the students will actually follow them
• What to do when students challenge authority, so that classroom disruption is minimized and learning can continue

Set Up Your Year for Success With The Teach-To Method

3-hour PD for schools, school districts & ESDs • $95-$198 per person • Teach-To book included

The time has come and gone to post the rules and hope for the best. Many of today’s students come to school unprepared to learn, so we need to teach them how to succeed in our classrooms. In this powerful professional development, you will:
• Learn why the traditional way of teaching rules doesn’t work, and what to do instead
• Discover how to eradicate 80-90% of problem behaviors by systematically teaching classroom routines
• Create at least one customized routine you can implement in your classroom immediately

Supercharge Your Effectiveness: Substitute Teacher Success Strategies

2-4 hour PD for schools, school districts & ESDs (substitute teacher specific) • $295-995 plus expenses

Subbing is not the same as having your own classroom. You have only minutes to establish your leadership rather than weeks or months. While this is not easy, it is possible to accomplish if you know a few simple secrets. Takeaways include:
• Simple tricks to quickly develop rapport with students
• How to utilize rewards and positive peer pressure to motivate students (instead of threats and punishments)
• How to peacefully deal with challenges to your authority


On-StageClassroom Management Strategies That Work

For teachers and classified staff • $179-199 per person • Includes 200-page manual

In many classrooms, 5-9 hours per week are wasted on low-level discipline issues such as lack of respect, eye-rolling, back-talking, and challenges to authority. Even more time is wasted on tracking student behavior and paperwork. What if all that time could be used for teaching instead? This seminar will show you how. You will learn:
• How to eliminate multiple warnings and repeated requests to students
• Which misbehaviors to correct, and which to leave alone
• How to keep students from constantly testing your limits… and more!

Classroom Management Strategies of Master Teachers

For individual teachers and teaching teams • $199 per person • All materials included

In this hands-on, interactive workshop you will learn key components of classroom management, customize them for your situation, and create an individualized implementation plan. Key concepts covered are:
• Key academic and behavioral skills to teach your students so they will cooperate with you all year long
• Specific phrases to use to get students to follow your directions
• Positive behavior reinforcement that works the whole year
• Specific strategies to fully engage your students and reduce “boredom” misbehaviors
• How to correct students without punishing or blaming

I couldn’t be more thrilled with Classroom Management Strategies That Work! The teachers are excited, my PBIS team is happy, and we went seven days in a row with ZERO discipline referrals! -Trish M, Elementary Principal

After attending your class, the change in the dynamic of my classroom is amazing! Thank you so much for providing tools and support to help me become the kind of teacher I am proud of.- D. Dilley, First Grade Teacher

Presentation Experience

“Classroom Management Strategies That Work” Seminar – Ontario, CA, February 2017

“Keep Your Students In Class and On Task” – NW Regional Math Conference, Yakima WA, October 2016

“Classroom Management Strategies That Work” Professional Development Day – San Bernardino CA, August 2016

“Classroom Management Strategies That Work” Invitational Seminar – Portland OR, June 2016

“Supercharge Your Effectiveness” Substitute Training- Beaverton OR, October 2016

“Characteristics of Awesome Teachers”- Crystal Apple Awards Dinner Keynote, Hillsboro OR Chamber of Commerce, February 2016

“Mediocre Is The Enemy of Awesome” – British Columbia Association of Mathematics Educators Regional Conference, Whistler BC, October 2015

“Our Love-Hate Relationship With Back to School” – Snoqualmie School District Professional Development  Day Opening Keynote – Snoqualmie WA, August 2015

“Classroom Management Strategies That Work” North Bend School District Professional Development Day – North Bend OR, August 2015

“Keep Your Students in Class and On Task” Confederation of Oregon School Administrators Conference – Seaside OR, June 2015

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Wenatchee WA, May 2015

“Classroom Management Strategies in Action – An Interactive Workshop” – Portland OR, May 2015

“Classroom Management Strategies That Work: Invitational Seminar – Seattle WA, March 2015

“Supercharge Your Effectiveness” Substitute Training- Beaverton OR, January 2015

“Keep Your Students In Class and On Task” – NW PBIS Conference, March 2015

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Medford OR, February 2015

“How Not to Screw Up Your First Year of Teaching” Lunch Keynote Presentation, Future Teachers Conference – Western Oregon University, February 2015

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Portland OR, March 2014

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Seattle WA, October 2014

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NW Regional Conference – Portland OR, October 2014

Le Monde French Immersion Public Charter School Seminar – Portland OR, August 2014
Redland Elementary School Seminar – Oregon City OR, August 2014

New Teacher Boot Camp – Portland OR, July 2014

Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) Conference – Seaside OR, June 2014

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Salem OR, June 2014

Le Monde French Immersion Exclusive Teacher Boot Camp – Portland OR, May 2014

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Portland OR, March 2014

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Portland OR, February 2014

South Shore K-8 School Seminar – Seattle WA, January 2014

Raising Scores and Raising Eyebrows – Immediate, Positive Classroom Change, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference, Seattle WA, October 2013

Classroom Management Strategies That Work Invitational Seminar – Medford OR, October 2013

Roseburg School District School Seminar – Roseburg OR, August 2013

Elgin School District School Seminar – Elgin OR, August 2013

Raising Test Scores and Raising Eyebrows – Immediate, Positive Schoolwide Change – Confederation of School Administrators (COSA) Convention, Seaside OR, June 2013

How to Achieve Safety, Sanity, and Productivity in Today’s Crowded Classrooms – Portland OR, February 2013

Jonesboro Microsociety Magnet School Seminar – Jonesboro AR, February 2013

Procrastination Annihilation – E-Women Networking luncheon, Portland OR, November 2012

Raising Scores and Raising Eyebrows – Immediate, Positive Classroom Change, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference, Albuquerque NM, November 2011

Raising Scores and Raising Eyebrows – Immediate, Positive Classroom Change – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference, Atlantic City, October 2011

Stop the Eye-Rolling – Classroom Management Strategies That Work – Washington Middle Level Association Regional Conference, Auburn WA, October 2011

What if You Could Just Teach Again? – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Conference, Portland OR, October 2011

Raising Test Scores and Raising Eyebrows – How to Effect Dramatic Change in Your School – Delta Kappa Gamma, Astoria OR, April 2010

Increase Academics and Decrease Discipline Challenges With ‘Time to Teach’ Techniques and Strategies – Portland, Oregon – September 20, 2010

When the Serenity Prayer Just Isn’t Enough – How to Deal with Challenging Kids – Beaverton, Oregon – September 7, 2010

Conflict is Inevitable, Combat is Optional – Beaverton, Oregon – August 23, 2010


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