February 11, 2004
I began the school year with a store-bought poster of classroom rules hanging on the wall. Students read, discussed, and illustrated the rules. However, by January, I felt that many of them needed reminders of appropriate conduct in school. I read an article in NEA Today that described how to guide students in creating their own classroom rules. We did so, and students enjoyed the experience.
Now, here's the highlight of my tip: To enforce the notion that understanding and following rules is a lifelong necessity, we wrote rules for the teacher! They included:
- Plan fun lessons.
- Treat students kindly.
- Listen to students.
- Discipline students fairly.
I had to repeatedly remind students that rules couldn't impede my ability to control the classroom. (The rule about discipline was my contribution!) Still, I feel that the activity helped my students see that everyone has rules to follow, not just children, and that rules are to help us, not torment us.