For those who’ve studies Kant, right?
So, I actually had a really hard time coming up with four rules to post in my classroom. I honestly think I shouldn’t have to post any rules in my classroom. I know that I will, but I shouldn’t have to. As far as I’m concerned, by the time these kids get to high school they should understand that no cheating (Rule 3) shouldn’t need to be posted – it is unexcusable no matter what. Then, I turned this idea around. That sounded sort of closed off and harsh of me, so I think the only rules that should be posted are the ones that are unexcusable. The ones that are taken for granted are the most important. For example, looking around on the internet I saw rules like “don’t draw on the desks” and “always be in your assigned seat”, or “always raise your hands”. These things, to me, are general guidelines but they are not absolute. If a student is drawing on the desk, I’m not going to get too upset. If they sometimes talk out of turn, it’s not the end of the world. But these rules are things that I think should always govern classroom etiquette, and life in general. That’s really what I want my students to understand about these rules.
1. Always be respectful
2. Always come in prepared
3. Always be honest
4. Always clean up after yourself
These four rules aren’t so specific to be just governing class life, they can relate to their futures or home lives too. Respectfulness, preparedness, honesty and courtesy are four very important life skills. I guess technically Rule 4 can fall under Rule 1, too; but I think it’s especially important to point out. Students should already know that these things are expected. Push your chairs back in and put your stuff away (4), don’t cheat or lie about doing your homework (3), try not to forget your homework, books or school supplies (2) and be respectful (1, obviously. Kara already had a great set of rules covering respect). These things to me, are broad enough to encompass most potential problems in a classroom. Rules 1 and 4 cover interactions with others, rules 2 and 3 are about other people and the students themselves. If you create an open, honest and respectful classroom where people are usually prepared then you will have a more open learning environment. Ultimately, that is (I think) the goal of effective classroom rules and procedures, you want your classroom to be conducive to learning by smoothing over the bumps.
Now, the website I’m linking to is edutopia. I did a lot of searching around the internet, and I found quite a few universities offering advice on their pages, and a few columnists whose validity I called into question. Ultimately, I guess I find aggregate sites like edutopia, EducationWorld etc. more reputable and they tend to feature more openly discussed and more specific topics. So, the link is at edutopia, here. For those who weren’t listening a couple of classes ago or just missed it, the edutopia groups page is sort of a poorly organized forum for teachers. This is their classroom management board. It looks like a really great website. I’m probably one of the youngest members of this class, and I practically spent my childhood glued to the internet. I’ve always loved forums, and even though this isn’t a traditional BBS system it’s close. I appreciate this more than a website that just posts articles, it’s useful for getting feedback. More specifically though I found one thread that I think is a better thing to link to than just that board is here. This is a thread about classroom rules, and they are (or were, it’s an older thread but it has 50 posts it’s worth a read) talking about posting rules in the classroom. It was apparently started by a teacher in AK! Anyways, for those who haven’t posted their blogs yet, read through that thread. I read the whole thing. It’s great to hear people go back and forth.
Anyways, here’s my wordle. I have to admit (because I’m following rule 3! I want my students to express their opinions, especially if they differ from mine!) I would probably never post a wordle in my room. I think they look sort of tacky. They would be cooler if they weren’t so random.
I look forward to reading the rest of the blog posts!