Here is some great advice from substitute teachers regarding classroom management.
Silas said: Classroom discipline starts with self-discipline.
Judy said: As I substitute teach, I have learned that one has to set rules and boundaries from the beginning and stick to them. Treat each student with respect and they will do the same back. The educator needs to be there for them.
Jerry said: As a substitute teacher, I've learned to be flexible and patient.
Alex said: I guess I've learned two things. The first one I learned through the online training session (which was great) and the second one I learned on my own.
The first one is that something annoying that a student is doing will usually stop within 40 seconds, so there's no reason to act on everything. They will usually stop on their own.
Second, I learned this especially when working with special education - is that distractions are a part of the learning process. If I'm doing a math lesson and the kids start talking about, say, monkeys, I found that in the long run it's more effective to indulge their distraction for a minute than expect them to stay completely focused for an entire hour without interruption.
Melissa sums it up perfectly: Greet the kids at the door, set expectations early, praise positive behavior, keep moving around the room, breathe, and stay calm.