Amanda Leger | Wichita Collegiate School | Wichita, Kansas
When the teacher and students work together to create rules for classroom behavior, students have more ownership in how they should act during their school day.
Rules and procedures are key to have a functioning classroom. In my classroom, with early childhood kids, there are two important rules. Number one be safe, number two be kind. And almost anything that comes up during the day, or the school year, I can ask them was that safe, and was that kind? And for the most part it goes perfectly. But rules need to be established throughout the classroom. How are you expected to sit on the carpet? How are you expected to sit at tables? How are they expected to walk around the room? How are they expected to treat each other? Now these rules I form with my students. I may put on a silly show, and show them how I could sit on the carpet, and put my legs out, and put my arms out, and touch my friends and bother them, and talk to them. And then they’d say that’s not how we act at school. Perfect, that’s not how we act at school. How should we act at school? And we make those rules as a school family. That way we all have ownership in those rules, and if somebody is breaking those rules or choosing not to follow those rules, we can say, “Hey we set and established these as a classroom.” That way it becomes a school family setting. Not just a teacher telling them over and over again, don’t do this, don’t do that. But, “Hey, how should we be?” And because we set them up together.