The hardest part of starting any new school year, or even a new semester is setting up effective and efficient classroom rules. Classroom management can be difficult, because what works for one group of students isn’t going to work for the next. We asked Albert Felts to break down for us his process for setting up effective and efficient classroom rules and this is what he gave us:
I always think of classroom rules as the hill I want to die on. What that means, my rules need to be so consistently enforce, that the world stops when there’s a rule violation. If they’re not consistently enforced, then it’s not a helpful tool for students to navigate how we want our classrooms to run.
With classroom rules, I always look at 3-5 positively stated expectations. I then link those to my school wide expectations. If your school doesn’t have school wide expectations, I’d recommend using the national Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports expectations of being safe, respectful, and responsible. With each rule I make, I clearly link them to the school wide expectations.
My rules are:
Everyone keep hands, feet, and objects to themselves
By asking kids to do that, it cuts out a multitude of problems throughout the year. It stops classroom interruptions from students, while maintaining a safe and orderly classroom. This is directly linked to the PBIS expectations of being safe.
Work during work Time
It’s incredibly important that we teach kids, when we’re asking them to work, that we’re serious about that. When I ask kids to work during work time, I’m asking kids to demonstrate responsible behavior that I’ll be paying attention to. This encourages good work ethic among students and minimizes distractions.
Follow the teacher’s direction the first time, every time.
I believe this is incredibly important to develop the expectation of respect in the classroom. I also want to send the message to kids that I’m only going to ask you things that I need you to do, and that I’m serious about. So when I’m asking you to follow the directions the first time, every time, I mean business.
By starting off your year or setting up your classroom rules follow these quick tips, you’re sure to have an efficient and effective classroom.