The First Day – Developing the Rules of the Classroom

The first day has lots of housekeeping items to get through from learning the children’s names to seating assignments and getting through the ice breaking activity with no avail. Now is the time for the classroom rules to be taught, learned, and understood.

There are many different approaches teachers take when developing the classroom rules. Some teachers make up the rules alone, create a poster board with the rules, and also give each student a copy of the rules to take home and read with their parents to get it signed and brought back to the teacher. From all of these basics, then the developing begins to branch off.

Some teachers have the students help make up the classroom rules the first day to help with forming a classroom community, as well as being responsible for their own behavior. The thought behind this is if the students develop the rules together, when one of the classmates breaks the rules, they should know better as they collaborated to set the rules.

When this occurs, the students many times are the ones who discipline their classmate before the teacher even has the chance to. There are positives and negatives to this approach and each teacher decides how they want to handle this outcome.

Once the rules are posted, some teachers have a large piece of poster board waiting, ready to have the students make a large poster of the classroom rules. Then each student signs it and it is hung in the front of the classroom on the wall, usually over the chalk board, off to the side so it is visible to every student.

Again, the meaning behind this is to have students understand they are responsible for their own behavior at a young age. The approach of classroom rules being signed off on can continue up through the high school level and does occur today.