Rules seem like they will be harder to enforce in secondary settings, high school more than middle. I really like what the book said, that there should be less rules in high school not because they are better behaved, but because it encourages maturity. Therefore, I aim to have only a few goals that are posted, but in my syllabus have a few more rules and policies outlined. That way they are not constant and in their face, but when they go to find their assignments they will have to skim over them.
Since I will be primarily teaching English classes, I feel my rules can remain basic. I do not have copious amounts of supplies to use each period and it is not physically active on a regular basis. Rules for my class will be focused on respect as a whole, for me and for each other. Also respect for the books loaned out, and the equipment I will use during certain units (I plan on using a lot of film and multi-media in my classes). By entrusting them with expensive equipment, I am reassuring my confidence in their maturity.
By the time they are in high school I don’t think that they will want to sit around and help me brainstorm the rules. Plus, I will also have several separate periods during the day, and I want a uniform policy for all. I have been entertaining the idea of their making my own rules to follow. My vision is that during the first class of the semester, after introductions and such, that the students are allowed to give ME as many rules as I post for them. That will help me keep the number of rules small, haha. It will also help me gauge where the students are at in terms of teacher relationships, if they feel that they are judged personally by teachers, or that teachers don’t pay them very much attention. It also helps keep the class fair, I respect their rules and they respect mine.
My Four Rules:
1. Get Here, Be Here: When you are in my class, please be in my class only. Do not do work for other classes. Remember: I can see you…
2. What Happens in Room ***, Stays in Room ***: Please do not tell your friends who have my other classes what we did, what the answers are, if you needed to read the whole assignment, or if I give a quiz.
3. Eat, Drink, and Be Weary: Juices and water are allowed in my classroom, but I reserve the right to smell the contents at any time. Food is also allowed, but if it becomes a distraction or the room is left a mess there will be no more eating.
4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Respect everything in this room, respect everyone in this room. Respect the aforementioned rules, and most importantly yourself.
“Respect is a two-way street, if you want to get it, you’ve got to give it.’
5. No Dogs Allowed: I mean it, it’s messy, someone may be allergic, and it’s awkward for me when I run into the janitor later and they assume I have lost total control of my class.
I added the fifth one as a joke…so that regardless of the student’s capabilities or behaviors, they will at least be able to follow one rule at all times. It is subject to change, I don’t want to offend anyone!
Finally, this website has some good slideshows on classroom management, I liked this one: