A Teacher's Bag of Tricks

So, I have an embarrassing story I have to share.

It was the fall my first year teaching. Football season, so only a month or two into the school year. I was tailgating in Auburn with my besties' family and our friends. Between beverages I was chatting with a girl who had been teaching for three years.

I was venting about the many problems I had already encountered as a new teacher. She mentioned I needed to create my bag of tricks. Bag of tricks? Maybe it was the beverages, because I thought she meant literal bag of things. I eagerly asked her what she kept in her bag and where she kept it for easy access. Needless to say she quickly realized my interpretation and why I needed help.

I spent much of the summer before my first year planning for how I would decorate my classroom. Bright colors, flowers, and a reading garden. What I should have spent my time doing was building my "bag of tricks". My procedures and routines.

Don't make this mistake. Don't be the naive girl who thinks a teacher's bag of tricks is a tote bag you walk around pulling magic out of. Even if you have been teaching for years, it's never too late to improve your classroom management. So, I have brainstormed a list of questions to help you build that brag of tricks or rethink somethings you are already doing.

How will students line up?

How will you get students' attention?

How will you dismiss them from whole group?

How will they know to rotate centers or switch small groups?

Will you have classroom jobs? What will they be? Will you assign them or will students pick them?

How will you manage your class library? How many books can students "check out"?

What is your bathroom procedure?

What is your pencil procedure?

Where are extra supplies? How do students get these?

What is your morning routine? Dismissal?

What are your hallway expectation? Lunch room? Specials?

How will students know recess is over? Where do they line up?

How will you communicate with parents?

How will you ensure students are aware of their progress?

What are your expectations for group work?

What are your consequences for breaking a rule? What if they break two?

What positive reinforcement will you use?

How will students pick partners?

Feeling overwhelmed? I am sorry! Yes, it is A LOT to think about. I have your back.

Jessica from Notes from the Portable and I created an ebook to help you think through these questions and provide you with multiple solutions. I wish I had this when I first started... but now I get to share my bag of tricks with you.

Jessica also created a very handy classroom management planner to help you stay organized! You'll love the management journal and editable planner to keep track of student behavior and parent communication.
Classroom Management Book and Planner

Want more? Read Jessica's Ultimate Guide for Back to School! She has 29 tips you need to read before going back.
Also, check out my post Starting the Year Off Strong to get you thinking about routines and procedures.

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