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How to Set Classroom Rules

Learn how to set classroom rules from education consultant Grace Dearborn in this Howcast video.


How to set classroom rules? There are a lot of different ways you might go about setting the classroom rules, but the big two are to tell the students what the rules are or to create the rules with the students, and of course, you can do a combination of those things as well. When you're setting the rules yourself, and you just want to tell the students what they are, pick five or six rules, make them super specific, and super observable. Be in your seat when the second bell rings. Don't talk while others are talking. Bring your materials to class everyday, and you can share that with the students. You can talk about it with them, but you're the one directing what the rules are. Another way to go out about it is to have the students design the rules with you during an activity, so you might give them a more kind of overarching idea like be respectful, be prepared, and be your best self, and then have them brainstorm what does that actually look like. If you were prepared, what it would look like? If you were being your best self, what would that look like?

They can come up then with some observable things, and you can collect that information, and from there, create the classroom rules, getting rid of the ones that didn't seem right to you or you didn't want or you can't live with, and adding in ones may be none of them said but that you think are really important. From there, they will feel more invested maybe in how they follow the rules, because they had some hand in creating them. It's always nice to have the students have some hand in it for that reason, but it doesn't have to be that way, and it can be more of you saying "These are the rules, and this is how we're going to follow them," as long as the students feel like those rules are being equitably enforced by the teacher. So those are some ideas about setting rules.

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