1. Don't Plan Anything
Who needs a plan when you can just wing it? There is a big difference between being flexible and being unprepared.
Instead, make sure that you have planned thoughtful and engaging lessons or activities to fill you day. I am a big fan of being over prepared, just in case something flops or doesn't take as long as you thought it would.
2. Leave the Classroom Unattended
I know you have to go to the bathroom. It sure would be nice to run down and make a few copies too. Don't do it! It is really easy to forget that you are in a room full of children when they are such perfect angels while you are there, but even the most amazing individual students go wild when left unattended.
Instead, if you absolutely can't wait (and this happens) see if a neighboring teacher can look in on your class or poke your head out in the hall and see if another staff member is walking by and can stay with your class for a minute.
3. Keep Students in Their Seats All Day
The world of education has changed a lot in the last few years. No longer is a perfect classroom kids sitting quietly in rows working independently. This isn't real world, and it isn't what tiny humans do naturally.
Instead, give your students a chance to get up, move around, and talk to their peers through meaningful content-rich cooperative learning structures.
4. Scream and Yell
Do not, I repeat do not, lose your cool. This is one of the quickest ways possible to show students that they might be a bit out of hand that they have control.
Instead, maintain an even tone and voice level. In fact, I have found that lowering your voice gets most students' attention, and is much more authoritative than a scream. Yelling only serves to worsen a situation.
5. Do Exactly What the Kids Want
They are children. Of course they want to have recess and specials all day. Why in the world would they want to write a personal narrative about a time they had fun instead of just having fun?
Instead, offer students choices in how and where they work, but maintain that they will do the work. Our students have been given the choice of "opting out" in the classroom, and this can breed learned helplessness.
6. Be Sarcastic
I am the sarcasm queen, but I know to turn it off in the classroom. Sarcasm isn't funny when you are the only one who understands it. In fact, it can be downright hurtful.
Instead, have meaningful conversations with your students. Include them in your process and model how to solve problems.