When you are setting up your classroom, you want to connect with your students. If you don’t build a good relationship and rapport with your students, then they will not respond well to the classroom management (or discipline) that is being implemented.
Think about the organization of the classroom. What kind of learning environment do you want to establish? Collaborative? Independent? Small Group? Whole Group? Think about where the materials are located; processes/routines to access materials, ask and answer questions; participate in different learning enviornments; transitions (how to walk in hallway; what to do when I need to use the bathroom; how to get set up for the day; etc.).
Set up 3-5 positive expectations about what you want to see in your classroom. During the first several weeks at school, review before, during and after every activity. Role play different situations and make them fun! Get the students up and moving, but also reinforce the expectations/rules throughout!
Spend the first few days of school playing ‘get to know you games’ and relationship/trust building activities, while you incorporate the expectations. It is our job to teach the children that are walking in the door, which may or may not be ‘rule abiding’.
We need to teach them everything (even if they are not on par with peers), but that is the exciting challenge of teaching. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in the coming weeks!