I think that it’s always important to establish a set of rules in your classroom at the beginning of the year and keep these rules visible at all times. There are two ways to establish rules: you can make them yourself and then review them with students or you can have students create their own rules for the classroom (which allows them to take responsibility for their learning – so important!). Your list can be long or short and to the point. Truly, you can choose any way that fits your teaching style.
For me, I’m coming into my class more than halfway through their academic year. There are no classroom rules posted in the classroom currently and there is a slight slip in the structure of the class due to their major transitions between teachers in the last few months. I need to establish expectations immediately and let my students know that I am serious – not only about teaching, but about their learning.
Therefore, I have chosen the rules for my classroom, created a poster, and it’s currently in a pile of things waiting to get laminated (I’ll post a picture of my poster, as well as the rest of my classroom transformation as it evolves!).
My rules are as follows:
In Our Class We…
- always show respect
- act responsibly
- try our best
- never give up
- have FUN!
I wanted to create this list with language that is simple for all students to understand, as well as language that is inclusive of everyone, not directed to the students individually. As a class, we are a team. If one person does not follow the rules, then it reflects on all of us, not just that student. We, including myself, will follow these directions – and although we’re doing a lot of learning, we’re also going to have a ton of fun.