As a hatchling secondary teacher-to-be, classroom rules are an interesting topic. We, one would hope, no longer have rules that are meant to keep order in a classroom of 20+ bouncing 5 year olds. Instead we have young adults that want to be treated as such, although they can sometimes act worse than those 5 year olds. My opinion is that classroom rules need to reflect that we are now molding young adults and readying them for life beyond school.
I started my search for classroom rules on Edutopia . Another night I had found an excellent blog on classroom management and I figured there had to be some posts on rules. After perusing the discussions I found one titled “Classroom Rules”. Here many good points were brought up but one I immediately liked and goes well with my thoughts on this matter was about rules and expectations. The blogger questioned the difference between rules and expectations. Instead of having a list of rules that must be followed, such as rules for a soccer game, one should have expectations to follow. When you interact out in public there aren’t specific rules, but instead there are expectations that everyone has of each other to make life work easier. I love this idea! Teaching our students about our EXPECTATIONS for class seems to fit my philosophy about preparing students for life beyond the confines of school.
How do I go about developing my expectations? I’ve always thought that classroom expectations should be simple, short, and sweet (KISS). The fewer there are to remember the easier it is to follow. Through my time spent in many classrooms over the last year I’ve shortened many rules or expectations down to a simple idea: RESPECT. Ultimately most everything can be traced by to respect and I believe that teaching students this is of the utmost importance. I believe the four expectations I would list in my classroom are:
1) Respect Yourself
2) Respect Others
3) Respect Resources
4) Respect Knowledge
Teaching students to respect and ask for respect are important life skills. Returning to what the blogger stressed, rules won’t be posted at a bank or at a job site. They won’t be reminded to bring a pencil to work every day that is simply an unspoken expectation to come prepared. It is a sign that you respect your coworkers that you are ready for the job when the job starts. I think at this age it is time for students to begin learning that respect encompasses many areas and they need to learn that most expectations are unwritten.
Have a great week everyone!