Raise your hand.
Keep your hands to yourself.
Do not take things that do not belong to you.
Always be prepared.
As secondary teachers, I think we all expect (or at least hope) that our students will come into our classroom already understanding these basic school rules. For this reason, I really like the idea of setting up classroom expectations rather than classroom rules. Expectations imply that the students have an active role in the overall classroom atmosphere, and it allows them to assume responsibility for their behavior.
When researching this topic, I came across many different suggestions as to how to develop classroom rules/expectations. I like the idea of allowing the class to brainstorm a list of classroom rules, and then working together to condense the suggestions into three or four salient points. This theory is particularly interesting to me as an English major, because it reinforces the creative process and helps students synthesize many ideas into a few central ideas.
Four key expectations I might have for my classroom:
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
I think in today’s image-obsessed society, it is important to reinforce the idea of respecting one’s self–whether that be eating healthy, completing homework, exercising, or studying for a test. Additionally, it has become increasingly obvious that our current society is a breeding ground for bullying, which is why I feel it is important to remind students to respect others. I want students to be active participants in their learning (“Teach a man to fish’), and I want my students to be creative! I welcome students coming to me with new ideas or new approaches to a particular assignment, and I want to encourage that kind of creativity in my classroom.
The link I found is from Project Ideal. I really liked this link because it synthesizes several ways that teachers can approach classroom management and expectations at the beginning of the year by involving students in the process. Additionally, it incudes reference materials on creating a classroom management PowerPoint or activity to further engage students in the process.