Today is about giving advice to new teachers. The best advice I can, and do, give to all interns that I work with or new teachers that I mentor is: do nothing until procedures are in place. If that means math has to wait, or that book doesn't get read, so be it. A teacher can make or break the entire school year based on the decisions he or she makes in the first few weeks of school. To save your sanity, spend time at the beginning of the school year telling, explaining, modeling, and reminding students what the expectations are for your classroom. Make charts with those expectations on them and refer to them often. Students should know what is expected of them when they need to use the restroom or get a drink, when they can sharpen their pencils, what their voice level should be for certain activities, what to do when they finish with work...basically just WHAT TO DO in general. Many new teachers make the fatal mistake of trying to be the fun or the cool teacher and this can backfire on you. Kids need boundaries and they feel more confident in their learning when they know what is expected of them. Set clear expectations and consistent consequences and your students will thrive (and yes, they will still love you.)
Anchor charts, like this one with voice levels on it, are helpful reminders throughout the year.