1. Know how you want your kids to behave in your classroom and train them to behave that way from Day 1 on. Model, model, model what you expect. And don't forget to PRAISE the behaviors that you like and quickly SQUELCH those you don't. Letting small misbehaviors slide will only make them multiply.
2. Be consistent. Enforce your rules. Every day. If the rule is to "raise your hand," make sure students raise their hands. If the rule is to "come in quietly," make sure your students come in quietly. Don't say those are rules but then allow kids to do the opposite. Kids are very perceptive. They will quickly figure out which ones you are "serious" about and which ones you aren't. Be prepared for them to break the ones you don't follow through on!
3. Be fair! Don't punish one kid for talking in the hall but not another. Don't come down harder on one kid for breaking a rule than another. Treat all of your kids the same. Kids respect fairness.
4. Don't hold a grudge! Start each new day as if it were the first. Let bygones be bygones, no matter how irritating the behavior of one of your students might be. You will both feel better by wiping the slate clean!
5. Be a good role model! Your kids will be watching everything you do! They'll be listening, too! Inspire them with your words and actions. Make them want to do better through your praise and enthusiasm. Model calmness, forgiveness, love, and strength. Be an adult they can look up to in all ways.
Remember, posting rules is important, but enforcing them is crucial. Take the time to train your kids to behave the way you want them to behave by being clear, swift, just, consistent, and loving. Your year is bound to be much more pleasant if you do so!
All the best and much success,
For more tips on how to make this a great year, read Kinders Can! READ and WRITE! by Katy Huller. Available at www.KindersCanReadandWrite.com.