Betty’s post reminds me of the importance of procedures, routines that create favorable conditions for learning. Entering and exiting the room, beginning and ending class, when and how to talk, assigning homework, passing out and collecting papers, dealing with misbehavior—establish procedures for these and other things. Effort spent establishing procedures will be repaid a hundredfold. I say this as a fundamentally disorderly person who finds procedures difficult. They’re worth it.
The book Betty mentioned, The First Days of School, is extremely helpful in this regard (and in lots of other ways). Buy it. Ask for it for your birthday. Tell the school board you won’t teach unless they get it for you. Lie on the floor and kick and scream about it. Send me a message and I’ll buy you a copy myself. (I’m actually serious about that.) It’s that good.