The 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made With Classroom Management

The 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made With Classroom Management


l want to share some of my favorite methods to teach procedures, routines, and expectations to my elementary classroom. 

Three Mistakes I Made My First Year of Teaching

Teaching procedures can feel tedious. The very first time I had a classroom of my own to manage- I made a few crucial mistakes:

  1. I didn’t think through my procedures and routines before the school year started.
  2. I didn’t EXPLICITLY teach all of my routines.
  3. I didn’t’ stay consistent.

How to Rock Your First Year of Teaching Classroom Management

So what do I mean by thinking through my procedures, routines, and expectations before the school year started? 

I want you to think about the entire school day- from the second the students walk into the classroom, from the second they leave to go home. Imagine them walking in, grabbing their supplies, unpacking their things. 

How do you want that to look? What should their voice level be? Which direction in the classroom should they walk? Where should everything go. Think through it ALL. (I use this workbook to help me out. You could totally also do this on a google doc or in a notebook.)

Once you have it alllll written down and planned out….

You gotta be prepared to EXPLICITLY teach it. 

This literally means, sit the students down, and show them how you want their desk organized.

Walk the students around the school, and practice hallway expectations.

Go through slideshows to talk about the daily schedule and the routines that go along with it. 

But here’s the thing… it can still be fun and engaging! 

Engaging Ways to Teach Procedures, Routines & Expectations

So here are some my favorite ways to make classroom procedures, routines, and expectations fun!

Do a classroom tour!

Include GIF’s of yourself on your slideshow using!

Have students play a game of procedures, routines, and expectations charades.

Play a game of procedures, routines, and expectations Jenga.

Your students can teach the routines to one another.

Have students give input on a few of the classroom routines. Ask them to take a vote on certain procedures. 

Students can go on a walking tour of the school and see if they can notice what OTHER classroom’s procedures and routines are. 

What are some of YOUR favorites? E-mail me at and let me know so I can share them! #teachershelpingteachers

Consistency is CRUCIAL to Classroom Management Success

And then for the consistency piece..

You HAVE to… you must… have students practice routines until they are done nearly perfectly. Yup- you heard me. Nearly perfectly.

When you ask your students to… “line up at a voice level 0 with walking feet and without pushing and shoving”… and a few students are talking… in the most calm, nonchalant way- you have to tell them…”ahhh man- I think we need to try that one more time. I need a voice level 0, walking feet, and no pushing and shoving.” 

If they get it- AMAZING! If they don’t… practice again. 

You aren’t mad at them, and you can share that with them too… it is just SO important to stay consistent so they know what is actually expected of them. If you say no talking, and then you allow talking, that is confusing for them. 

I just posted a TikTok video explaining this in more detail to newer teachers…take a look here.

So Friend, I know that was a lot. Just know that YOU got this, and I completely believe in you. So take a deep breath, and know that you are supported along this teaching journey of yours.