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Complete Show Notes:
If you are a new teacher who is just about to set up your first classroom, today we are going to talk about one of the most important aspects of designing an efficient, well-organized classroom so that you can become the amazing teacher that you’ve always dreamed of being.
I know you might have heard horror stories about other people’s first years of teaching, and it’s true, the first year can be very hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re feeling nervous or anxious about your first week in your new classroom, today you are going to get some of the essential tools you need to feel more confident and much more prepared for your first day and your first week.
Because today, I’m going to show you how to outline your classroom management plan.
If you haven’t already downloaded the Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist, I highly recommend that you go back and download that first, because going through that checklist will open your eyes to why having a plan is essential in knowing how to turn potential chaos into peace and purpose in your classroom.
AND – I have a very special treat for you because I have created another awesome freebie for you that I designed to be the next step for you to take after the Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist, and that’s The Beginning Teacher’s Classroom Management Starter Kit!
Okay, so let’s dive in.
If you recall, in the Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist, I walk you through three areas of classroom management that are essential to creating a well-organized and well-run classroom.
PART ONE: Legendary Lay-Out: Space, Materials, and Supplies Management
PART TWO: Established, Energizing Expectations: Rules, Routines, & Class Jobs
PART THREE: A Dash of Motivational Magic & A Sprinkle of Love & Sunshine
Today, we are going to talk in more detail about how to outline your classroom management plan based on the first two of these three areas because that’s where a lot of new teachers fall down, and we fall down often because of one of three things:
Now, you might be thinking – I’ve been around a lot of kids, and the last thing they seem to want is structure.
However, you might not realize that a lot of your students come from homes where there isn’t very much structure. Where their home lives are chaotic – where there is a lot unpredictability – and it’s really difficult for children to feel safe when there isn’t a structure that they can count on.
The reality is that consistency builds trust in your classroom, and students trust the teachers who can provide a safe environment that is consistent and nurturing, so that they can be free to learn and achieve to their fullest potential.
I really wish I had known and really understood this before I went into my first year of teaching, and I want to cut out for you all of the struggle that I experienced because I didn’t have a clear plan.
Thinking through your classroom management plan well before the first day of school will really cut down on your stress and frustration throughout the year because you will have made all of these decisions in advance, you will know what you expect of your students, and you will be clear about how your classroom will run efficiently.
And - when your classroom runs efficiently, there is a lot more time for learning, which of course increases your students’ potential for growth and achievement.
There are three sections you need to include in your classroom management plan that are aligned with the three sections in the Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist.
Although we don’t have time to go through the entire Starter Kit today, I’m going to give you an overview and some specific examples here so that it will be much easier for you to complete your Starter Kit at home.
Questions you will need to ask yourself include:
Other questions you will need to ask yourself include:
Now, I’m only giving you an overview here, but that’s because I want you to start thinking about all of these different aspects so that later you can ahead and start filling out your Starter Kit for how you would like this to happen in your classroom.
What I want to really drill down into is the fact that establishing essential routines in your classroom will make the biggest impact on how efficiently your classroom will run.
Now, routines are different than class rules.
How are they different?
So for example, a class rule might be: Always listen to the speaker.
That means that no matter whose turn it is to talk – mine as the teacher, or Blake’s, or Alyssa’s, or whoever, we face that person, we don’t fidget, and we think about what that person is saying.
Questions for you to think about:
Here’s the secret – the more carefully and thoughtfully you teach your classroom routines, the more successful you will be with creating a classroom that runs efficiently and peacefully.
Questions for you to think about:
Over the next week, when you download your Classroom Management Starter Kit, you will see that it is organized into three columns.
So for example, for the question:
“What are my students allowed to do when they finish their work early?”
I want you to think about what your students will have for options when they finish early and list them in the first column.
If you don’t have anything listed yet, start researching ideas that would be appropriate for your grade level and for your individual teaching context and plan for what you will have as options for your students.
Then, in the second column, write these options out in bullet points – so your title would be:
When You Are Finished Work Early:
1) Read in the reading corner
2) Doodle at our doodle station
3) Work on our Mind Candy Centers
You will then use these PowerPoint slides as you prepare for your first days and weeks of school, which you can re-use every single year that you teach, even just tweaking when you change grades, if you have to!
We will talk more about how you can do that in next week’s episode:
Episode #18: How to Prepare for Your First Days of School.
In that episode, I will walk you through how, when, and why to teach each of your routines during the first days of school so you will be off to a great start in your first year of teaching!
Okay, we covered a LOT of ground today, but believe me, you will be so happy that you did this work now so that you will be able to create one of those amazing classrooms you walk into and wonder, “How did their teacher do this? How do all of the kids know exactly what to do? Why is it all so peaceful and why does it seem so easy?”
I can promise you that although it took me a long time to figure all of this out, it was so worth it when I finally did.
I’m here to help you to cut through all of the clutter so you can fast-track to achieving that incredible classroom community that you’ve always dreamed of.
Believe me, although it seems like a lot of work now,
it will be SO worth it when you walk into your classroom on your first day,
confident because you know what you’re doing,
because you’re going to NAIL it,
and because you will be well on your way
to becoming that legendary teacher
that kids talk about years later.
I’m going to help you get there.
So go ahead and download your Classroom Management Starter Kit now and get to work, and I’ll see you again next week!
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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