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How-To: Manage Your Classroom
How to Home
How To: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom

Creating and Enforcing Classroom Rules Kathy Granas

There is a significant difference between rules and procedures. You should have between three and six overriding classroom rules. For example:

  • BE POLITE
  • BE PROMPT
  • BE PREPARED
  • BE PRODUCTIVE

You will have many procedures for your classroom. Procedures provide students and teachers with a framework for handling basic classroom routines such as sharpening pencils, turning in homework, etc.

Whether you decide the rules for your classroom or you include your students in creating the rules, the following suggestions might be helpful:

  • Be clear about your rules and the rationale behind them.
  • State the rules early and often in a positive way.
  • Focus on rules and procedures during the first three weeks of school to ensure a comfortable, safe learning environment for the rest of the year.
  • Be consistent and fair in enforcing the rules.
  • Be prepared to restudy rules and procedures if they don't work.
Posting your classroom rules in an obvious place is helpful to everyone, including substitute teachers. You will be surprised by the power that a few basic classroom rules can have: 

A university observer was in my classroom recently and remarked on how polite the students seemed to be to me and to each other. "Of course," I responded with a smile. "They have to be polite because that is one of our classroom rules!"

 

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