In my experience students need to understand expectations. Organizing a classroom with rules and procedures sets the stage of success for the student as well as the teacher. If there is a clear guideline, students understand what is required and work to accomplish those goals. Clear rules and regulations give structure creating a positive learning environment. Generally, students want to do the right thing. Guidelines ensure that time is optimized for instruction leaving less time wasted with distractions. Establishing norms with student by-in encourages ownership of rules and results in better behavior. Learning in the classroom happens through interactions, but to be constructive rules have to be established to create order. Who has the floor? How can questions be asked? How are we going to manage all the interruptions? How do we lessen the interruptions?
Students should be involved in establishing rules and procedures. By including students in the rule making process, they develop ownership of these rules and are more likely to follow them. At the beginning of the year, I facilitate a discussion with students that ultimately sets the rules for the classroom. Students are asked to describe the environment in which they learn the best and what goals they hope to achieve within the class. Then, the students participate in a brainstorming session to capture ideas on classroom rules and procedures.
A teacher is instrumental in the development of students both socially and academically. The way a teacher manages his classroom has a direct impact on student learning as well as defining acceptable social behaviors.
1. Come to class organized and prepared
2. Show Respect
3. Safety First
4. Be Kind
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