Sep 02, 2023

Effective Classroom Management Systems and Strategies for Starting the School Year (Part 1)

Are you gearing up for a new school year or already knee-deep in classroom chaos? Are you finding yourself repeating the same instructions over and over with some students still not following them? Do you feel overwhelmed by the distractions and disruptions that seem to happen every day? If this sounds familiar, you're in the right place. Welcome to the first episode of a three-part series on the Burned In Teacher Podcast, where we're diving into effective classroom management strategies. Today, we'll explore three essential rules that, when integrated into your effective classroom management system, will simplify your approach and set the tone for a successful year.

As educators, managing our classrooms is the cornerstone of our ability to teach effectively. Without proper classroom management, the teaching-learning process can be derailed by unruly behavior and distractions. In this episode, we're going to outline three crucial rules that will not only make your life easier but also help your students understand their responsibilities better.

Introducing the Three Rules

  • Rule 1: Be Respectful: The first rule we're introducing to our students is "Be Respectful." This foundational principle sets the tone for positive interactions in the classroom. Here's a breakdown of what it means to be respectful:
    • Listen and follow instructions from the teacher promptly.
    • Show kindness by helping others and cleaning up after yourself.
    • Display attentive listening during class discussions.
    • Keep hands to yourself and maintain personal space.
    • Use polite language and manners, such as "please," "thank you," and "excuse me."
  • Rule 2: Be Responsible: Next up is "Be Responsible." This rule emphasizes accountability and conscientiousness within the classroom environment:
    • Take care of classroom materials and put them away after use.
    • Handle supplies, like pencils and erasers, with care.
    • Avoid purposefully damaging items or being reckless.
    • Push in chairs when leaving a seat.
    • Use a calm, kind voice when interacting with peers and teachers.
    • Resolve conflicts peacefully by asking others to stop or adjust your own behavior.
  • Rule 3: Be Safe. Safety is of paramount importance in any learning environment. The "Be Safe" rule ensures the well-being of both students and teachers:
    • No running in the school (ever).
    • Avoid throwing objects in the classroom.
    • Always seek permission before leaving the classroom.
    • Respect personal boundaries and refrain from hitting, kicking, or touching without permission.
    • Practice proper hygiene, such as using tissues for blowing noses and sneezing into elbows.
    • Speak up if you notice something unsafe.


While these three rules provide a strong foundation, we're also introducing two bonus rules that can make a significant impact:

  • Bonus Rule 4: Be Kind. Promoting kindness goes hand in hand with a positive classroom environment. Being kind means:
    • Using a gentle tone and demeanor when communicating.
    • Using helpful words and avoiding hurtful language.
    • Smiling, greeting others, and giving compliments.
    • Choosing to act with care and consideration, even if you aren't close friends.
  • Bonus Rule 5: Be Patient. Being patient is a skill that young students often struggle to grasp. Teach them how to be patient by:
    • Taking deep breaths and calming oneself.
    • Waiting for one's turn without complaining or acting out.
    • Maintaining a composed attitude even when things don't happen immediately.

To successfully implement these rules, the key is consistent reinforcement. It's essential to discuss and review these expectations every single day. By creating a predictable routine of reviewing the rules, you empower your students to internalize them and apply them consistently.

In the upcoming episodes of this series, we'll delve deeper into practical strategies for teaching, reviewing, and reinforcing these rules every day. Remember, classroom management isn't about stifling creativity or autonomy; it's about creating an environment where both teachers and students can thrive. So, stay tuned for more insights and actionable steps to ensure a successful and productive school year.

If you're looking for even more guidance on classroom management and handling negative behaviors, join our two-hour workshop on setting students up for success. Learn more at

Here's to a year of empowered and effective teaching!

Call to Action: Things You Can Do Tomorrow 

  1. Model expected behavior. Lead by example and showcase the behavior you expect from your students. Demonstrate respect, responsibility, kindness, and patience in your interactions with them and fellow educators. 
  2. Clearly and concisely teach your expectations. Use language that is easily understandable by your students' age group. Clearly define each rule and provide examples of what it looks like and sounds like in practice. 
  3. Engage in DAILY rule discussions. Commit to discussing and reviewing the classroom rules with your students every single day. Incorporate these discussions into your daily routine, whether during morning meetings, transitions, or other appropriate times.


Resources Mentioned in This Episode 



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