Rules and procedures are needed because students need structure. They need to know what is expected of them and how to meet classroom expectations and their own needs in the classroom. They need to know how to safely perform academic tasks even when they require using potentially hazardous tools, chemicals, or objects.
In my high school biology classroom I will likely decide on the rules ahead of time. I know it can be valuable for students to create the rules but I believe a discussion on what the rules are will be equally valuable for them. This is possible because the rules will be 4 or 5 simple character traits that sum up the expectations for the class. The class discipline plan or contract will be more explicit to exclude behaviors which disrupt, distract, endanger, offend, destroy, disengage, disrespect, themselves, a classmate, school property or me, their instructor.
There are many valuable websites and certainly more interactive ones than this but this more academic source contains research-based strategies that I found valuable. The article the link goes to is only one of many resources written for leaders in education. I appreciated this article because it didn’t list things to do but used language that recognized that there are dynamic levels to applying these concepts. Situations call for differing degrees of dominance. Levels of cooperation recognizes that the relationship between teacher and student is dynamic and depends on the maturity of the student as much as that of the teacher. Tying it into Section 1: Rules and Procedures is the need to set rules and procedures that establish clear expectations and consequences.
My four simple rules would be: