Everyone who has gone to school has had that one teacher who had dozens of rules, many of which seemed to be pointless and lack sense. Every teacher has their own rules that they are passionate about and are must have. My personal must have rules are:
- Speak loud when answering my question or asking me something.
- My ears are terrible, and we’ve all had many classmates who seem to whisper… I plan to help these students
- Keep noise to an appropriate level.
- Remember when I said my ears are terrible? I also have a disability. Lots of noise at the same time that I disorients me if I need to listen to it all at once. I also cannot key in on a single source when there’s background noise.
- Have respect for yourself, your classmates, and me.
- It’s good to define what you think of when you say respect. Your version and their version will be drastically different. Yours might include only one person speaking at the same time, while theirs might be not snoring when they fall asleep in class.
During pre-internship, I made the mistake of not coming out with my expectations and procedures. I should have had these rules posted somewhere to refer too. I noticed that my top two rules have relaxed much after my preinternship. Some students are too shy, have difficulty with the language, and setting a ‘talk loud so I can hear you’ precedent causes troubles.
I was very strict on my third rule. Students should have respect for themselves (this was mostly… enforced? in private with students who had some depression), respect for their classmates (aka don’t disrupt their work or be offensive) and respect me (don’t push the limits).
My minor rules that relate to late assignments and skipping school were also relaxed. The school environment has changed far too much for me to discipline students extensively because they did not hand in an assignment or were not in class. Observing my co-op, it was common for only half (if lucky) assignments to be handed in on due dates. We once did an in-class essay and only 70% of students handed in the essay… we saw them write it!
It’s important to remember that teachers should only have few rules. The less, the better. Too many rules become difficult to remember and make the students try to break them because you will be imagined as a dictator in their eyes. Studies show that having only a few rules that are strictly enforced instead of many rules that are rarely (or even worse – strictly enforced) referenced will cause chaotic classroom environments. What are your must have classroom rules?