When I walked into my friend Mrs. Walter's beautiful art room, I noticed on the wall an adorable paint palette with her rules stated clearly and simply - Respect the Art Room, The Artists, The Art.
I was thrilled when she allowed me to borrow that idea and change it to music, because all year long, I could quickly refer to my poster above and say, "Are you being respectful of the musicians in this music room?" At the beginning of the year, I hung up this poster. I had a conversation with each class about what each of these rules meant - for example, respecting the music room means to be respectful of every item in the music room, take care of the instruments, put things away if you took them out, etc. My best advice to a beginning teacher is to set your expectations and be consistent - even when they smile at you and blink those little eyes with a "I-am-so-cute-you'll-never-be-mad-at-meeeee" kind of look! Children respond well to an environment where there is structure - it makes them feel safe which in return, makes for a class that runs smoothly.
Alright, alright - for the most part! LOL!
You can find a printable version of these rules in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store: