1. Get prepared. Few things cause more stress in the classroom than having to wing it. Try to have your first week carefully planned out (at least your first day!)
2. Do not pre-judge students. Do not try to find out from other teachers who the good and bad kids are on your class rosters. Let them start out with a clean slate with you. Sometimes this cannot be avoided because of those loose lipped co-workers who like to talk about their students in public. Do your best to avoid these conversations.
3. Get that sleep pattern started early. This one can be hard to do, but if you are used to staying up until 2 am every night during the summer, start easing back on your bedtime so that it does not completely shock you when you get back to school.
4. Establish your discipline plans immediately. Knowing exactly how you will handle discipline from day one is essential. Be ready to explain your plan on the first day of class, and then execute it.
5. Plan on going to a football game or other event early. One of the keys to having successful classroom management is showing the students that you are interested in them. Going to games or other events may not sound like a big deal, but students notice.
Please send me your questions and comments about discipline! I love hearing from people who are interested in the topic like I am.
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