Classroom rules are the backbone of any proactive strategy to reduce problem behaviors. There should be a minimum expectation for behavior for every student in the classroom which the rules describe. All students should be expected to follow these rules. Once an exception to the rules is made for a "special" student, a double standard exists and rules become worthless.
· Keep the rules to a minimum.
· Keep the wording of the rules simple.
· Have the rules logically represent your basic expectation for a student's behavior in your classroom.
· Keep the wording positive.
· Make your rules specific.
· Make your rules describe behavior that is observable.
· Make your rules describe behavior that is measurable.
· Publicly post the rules in a prominent place in the classroom.
· Tie following the rules to consequences.
· Always include a compliance rule—"Do what your teacher asks immediately."
Examples of Inappropriate Rules
- Be responsible.
- Pay attention.
- Be ready to learn.
- Demonstrate respect for others.
- Take care of your materials.
- Be polite.
- Be kind to others.
Examples of Preferred Rules
- Turn in completed assignments on time.
- Sit in your seat unless you have permission to leave it.
- Do what your teacher asks immediately.
- Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Bring books, notebooks, paper, pens, and pencils to class.