As a brand new teacher of course I felt unprepared for a classroom of my own. I took all the right courses and set up my very first classroom but felt really green when it came to classroom management. Classroom management is the process of ensuring good behavior from students. I cannot stress to you how important this concept is to a productive learning environment. Establishing rules, routines, and procedures at the start of the year makes the teacher’s job easier, empowers the kids to positively contribute to the class, and offers a predictability that benefits everyone. The best part about good classroom management is that if you start off strong, your classroom will ultimately manage itself with very little work from you.
Conscious Classroom Management by Rick Smith is a fantastic resource that set me up for success. I reread it every summer in anticipation of a new school year. The book is well-organized and broken down into three parts. The first part discusses who you are as a teacher. It helps you clearly define your role and standards. The second part is all about avoiding the common pitfalls of teaching and getting ready for the year. The third part gives the reader great strategies for when misbehavior results in a need for consequences.
My favorite items in the book are the lists Smith provides. I go through his “What Procedures Do We Need,” item by item when I am starting a new year. He also has a “Before-School Checklist” that is immensely helpful.