September 21, 2011
Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
One of the biggest challenges teachers face is in creating classroom rules. Too many, or too much detail, and students may feel overwhelmed. Too few, and a classroom can deteriorate into chaos.
While the exact rules you need depend on the grade level and your students, here are the top 10 rules you probably should have in your classroom.
10. Treat your classmates with respect
This is a broad rule, so consider having this as part of your classroom mission statement, as well as a rule. Involve the students in defining this classroom rule by asking them for examples of behaviors that support or violate this rule.
9. Come to class with the right materials
Unprepared students waste precious classroom time looking for pencils, getting second copies of assignments or borrowing books, so this rule is important to having a successful classroom.
If your students might not have access to needed school supplies, or if family situations make it difficult to arrive prepared, you may need to modify this classroom rule to include visits to an in-room supply cabinet at the start of the school day.
8. Use polite language
Teaching children to avoid name calling, swear words and derogatory terms is a critical aspect of teaching today. Make sure your students know that hateful or crude language will not be tolerated in your classroom.
7. Respect school and personal property
Students need to learn that other people’s property is not fair game. Making and enforcing rules against taking, using or damaging personal or school property will help students learn respect and boundaries – essential skills for life.
6. Allow others to talk without interrupting
Listening skills are important for students of all ages. Including this in your classroom rules gives you the opportunity to point out both good example of respectful listening, and correct problems.
5. Use indoor voices
Most of us heard this rule at home, but sometimes it can be forgotten in the excitement when other children are around.
Usually a simple reminder is all a child needs to bring the volume down.
4. Do your own work
A rule requiring students to do their own work includes prohibitions against cheating, having other people complete assignments or plagiarizing reports. Helping students understand why these behaviors hurt them might make this rule easier to enforce.
3. Ask for help when you need it
For many students, asking for help is like admitting they’re stupid. Making it a classroom rule removes this stigma, opening the door for students to get the assistance they need.
2. Laugh with people, but never at anyone
Bullying can take many forms, but laughing at another student is one of the most overlooked. This classroom rule is a great way to make students aware of how painful a small action can be.
1. Never hit, push, injure or threaten another student
Of all the essential classroom rules, making your school safe from violence is the most important. And sadly, sometimes the hardest to convey and enforce.
Be sure your students understand that this rule also applies on the bus, at bus stops and at school activities.