Establishing Classroom rules for a productive learning pace

Establishing Classroom rules for a productive learning pace

A fresh year at school was a time I always looked up to as a student. A brand-new set of books, neatly covered notebooks, pencil box, tiffin box, bottle and school bag were some of the things I looked forward to. It was also time to meet our new teachers and get acquainted with the activities for the year. In addition, it was a time to set the norms for the classroom.

Interestingly, these are also some of the things I look forward to as an educator. The beginning of a new session is an opportunity for me to set the tone for the whole session. The norms that we set at this time are going to determine how our year will be. I feel all teachers should take this opportunity to set some ground rules for their classes. It is a time to co-create agreed upon guidelines for your classroom with your students. It is a powerful way to lead a classroom. Hence, it is one of the first things to do at the start of the school year.

Why ground classroom rules or guidelines are important?

When teachers make their students a part of the exercise of setting guidelines or ground classroom rules, they create a shared vision. As the pilot of the classroom, it enables them to lead the way to help students learn self-reflection and self-regulation.

It helps to make the classroom a productive place, as students have a clear understanding of the expected behaviour. It is an opportunity for the teacher to establish a trusting and caring classroom culture.

How to establish rules for your classroom along with your learners?

Establishing rules for the classroom requires a collaborative relationship to ensure that the learners take ownership of these norms and understand their importance for personal and collective growth. This can be done in various ways. The first step is to engage in a brainstorming session with the students. The teacher may ask the students about their goals for the session or understand which traits students value and want to inculcate in themselves. This provides a base onto which the norms can be built. For instance, students may express that they value friendship and respect. This can be fostered in the classroom by encouraging active listening, creating an environment that both the students and teacher cherish.

Making the classroom rules visible

These rules can be displayed in the classroom using posters and charts. Activities such as role plays can be conducted to remind children of these norms periodically. The manner in which the rules are stated is also important. The purpose of these rules is to create a productive learning environment. To ensure this, the norms should be worded in a positive way. They should also be clear and concise. For instance, instead of saying ‘Don’t interrupt other people’, the rule can be stated as ‘Lets raise our hand when we want to share something with the class’.

It is also important to establish the consequences of not following the rules with the students and be consistent with them.

Reviewing the classroom rules periodically aids in keeping them relevant and effective.

Share with us some of the strategies you use to establish rules for your educational setting. 


10 thoughts on “Establishing Classroom rules for a productive learning pace

  1. Rightly worded Ma’am, classroom rules and ground rules are pivotal to engrain discipline as a habit. Once we are disciplined and punctual , use parliamentary language, and abide by the code of conduct then we evolve as a unique individual.

  2. ‘Be respectful to others.’

    Speaking respectfully in the class with the students help them to understand how respectful behaviour of a person leaves an impression on others and gets respect in return. Once a month role plays helps it as reminder

  3. “Be a role Model”
    If we want our students to follow something very important. first we need to be a role model. for example if we say they have to polite with other class mate we have to practice politeness in our behavior. Thank you.

  4. I really liked the article. Classroom rules help students understand what is appropriate and what is not, as well as they help clarify expectations and cultivate a sense of belonging among students.
    Being a facilitator I also set some ground rules in my class where a game was played to let my students understand the importance of rules. Afterward we mutually set some rules to be followed in the classroom and displayed them in the form of beautiful poster so that we can refer those regularly.
    Looking forward to more such articles about classroom management.😊

    1. Very well worded Priyanka! Taking up the importance of ground rules in class can indeed cultivate a sense of belongingness.

  5. A very well written article and especially being a teacher I can understand how important classroom rules are for each one.

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