4 Classroom Management Must Haves for a New Teacher

New Teacher’s worry most about classroom management- and they should!  Studies have shown that teachers who have problems with behavior management and classroom discipline are frequently ineffective in the classroom.  They are more likely to burnout and leave the profession.  We also know that if you can’t get the kids to sit down and listen- even the greatest lesson that you spent hours prepping will not work.  These are the 4 most important things to get you through the first 2 weeks of school.

Plan ALL of your Procedures

The first step to getting classroom management under control begins way before you set foot in the classroom.  Start by developing your rules and procedures.  Plan these routines in great detail.  It is the little things that will drive you crazy during the year.  You also want to shut down any reason to argue about a procedure later!  Here are some of the main procedures that drive teachers crazy!

  1. Trash- How will kids throw away trash?  Will they get up during a lesson to take something to the trash can?  Do they throw it on the floor? Stuff it in their desks?
  2. Pencils- When do kids sharpen pencils?  What do they do if they don’t have a pencil?  How do they borrow a pencil AND return it?
  3. Dry Erase Markers- How do they get a marker?  Do they scribble all over their whiteboard while you are talking?  Do they leave the cap off?
  4. Whiteboards- How do they get them?  Where are they stored?

If you would like a copy of all of the procedures I had in my classroom, click the image to the right.  This is something I give to new teachers at the beginning of the year.  We make changes to fit their needs, but make sure we have everything written down.  Put a copy of all of your procedures in your substitute file, and they will have a much easier day!

Click for Procedures and Routines!

Strong Voice

Practice your teacher voice!  A strong clear voice is very powerful.  When you talk to students, remember to stand up, square up, and stand still!  Use a formal tone.  You are not their friend, you are the boss.  There should not be a hint of “maybe just this once you can get away with not doing what I ask”.  Don’t use slang language- “Dude, I said sit down!”  Is not as powerful as, “Michael, sit down.”

Practice wait time.  This is one of the steps that trips teachers up.  They ask the class to be quiet, but don’t wait for that direction to be followed.  They rush to the next direction.  Not all students hear and then need all of the directions repeated.  This is VERY frustrating to the teacher and to the students who are listening.  If the words come out of your mouth, wait for them to be followed.

Plan your First Week of School

Plan which procedures kids need each day and then teach them before they will need it.

What will you say to introduce the procedures?  I always use the acronym CHAMPS.

C is the conversation level

H is how the student gets help

A is the activity

M is the movement

P is what does it look like when everyone is participating.


For most of the procedures, I make small anchor charts to post around the room near the area that the procedure happens.

Give crisp instructions.  Don’t use too many words.  Be specific with what you want kids to do.


Day 1

Entering the Classroom


Going to Lunch

Line Up


Day 2

Getting Supplies

Teacher Attention Signal

Turning in Papers

Going to PE, Music, Art or Computer

Day 3

Getting Help

Sharpening Pencils

Cleaning Room at the End of the Day

Day 4

Dry Erase Markers

Sitting SLANT Ready to Learn

Day 5

Review Entering the Classroom

Practice Makes Perfect

After you teach a procedures, never and I mean never allow it to be done incorrectly.  Wait for 100{ead11f5758ba27f8b85d16bb338278bf88aa311cb7529b45aa5c71cfd4587f47} compliance.  If the class needs to practice again, no big deal.  It’s not a punishment.  You don’t need to be angry.  I used to put a big #9 on my back wall to remind me that these kids had only made the trip around the sun 9 times.  They were still young humans.  It is not personal and it’s okay to practice.  Make it a challenge with a reward at the end when they get it right!  The first two weeks of school set the tone and pace for the rest of the year.  Be consistent!

Teacher Radar

You have to learn to know when students are off task.  Scan the room looking for areas that are commonly off task.  Most of the time these will be the places where students are farthest away from you.  Make it obvious you are looking.  Move slow as you walk the perimeter and through the desks.  Developing the teacher look takes time, but you will get it!  You mean business!

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