This isn't a post about managing behaviour and learning in detail, but more pointers and tips to help you through the experience...
- 'You are the mystery teacher' - no-one knows who you are yet; children may suspect you are inexperienced, but unless you tell them or give the impression of being scared, they won't know for sure.
At the moment, you are an unknown quantity, and have have an air of mystery you can exploit - if a child asks, "Are you a new teacher?", simply answer, "I'm new to this school."; remember that however inexperienced you are, the children are even less so.
- 'They're more scared of you ...' - all teachers have a window of opportunity in which to prove themselves to any class, a few lessons during which the children are 'checking you out' and are unsure just how far they can push you.
The old cliche "Start off by being as 'hard' as possible - you can always relax, but can't get a class back once you've lost them" holds true.
- Set boundaries now - let the children know exactly what you expect from them (and why) and what will happen if they do/do not follow the rules.
Boundaries should be fair, realistic and achievable; talk to your class(es) about what you want and why you want it, and encourage them to respond to your ideas.
To a great extent, setting boundaries is a matter of personal taste and on the children you have to teach.
- Wait for them - even the proverbial 'class from hell' will listen to you the first time they meet you, so if you set this standard now, they will know what you expect.
Never talk to a class until every single child is sitting still, in complete silence and looking directly at you.
- 'Hands up ...' - start every question with 'Put your hand up if you can tell me...'; this avoids the irritation of children calling out the answer and, after a while, you will have trained them to respond in this manner to every question.
- Relax - it is important for you not to rush your first lessons; never worry if there are pauses while you consider your next move - after a while, it will come more easily.
- Who wants a job? - always ask this question when you have anything you want given out or collected in; you will find that children (particularly younger ones) are delighted to help you, and you will save yourself unnecessary work.