How Important Are Classroom Rules?

The classroom is a society of students. And just like any other society, it is argued that there must be rules and regulations for its successful operation.

As teachers, our main goal is to create a classroom full of responsible students.

That makes the class an effective place for effective teaching and learning to take place.

If you have been wondering why and how classroom rules are important, this article will help answer your questions.

Classroom rules are important because of the following reasons:

  1. It promotes safety.
  2. It promotes effective teaching.
  3. It promotes effective learning.
  4. It produces responsible students.

 

What Are Classroom Rules?

Classroom rules are regulations that tell students what they are allowed or not allowed to do.

Classroom rules ensure the successful functioning of the environment of each class if created and implemented appropriately.

Most teachers and education experts encourage teachers to set the rules and regulations to guide everyone’s behavior on the first day of the class.

That is considered the best if the teacher wants the rules to be effective.

 

How Are Classroom Rules Necessary?

If you type classroom rules into Google, there will be lots of results on the best rules for various class levels and how to set them.

However, less is mentioned about why it is imperative to have rules in the classroom.

The following are some of the reasons why classroom rules are important:

It Promotes Safety

One advantage of having effective classroom rules is that it helps you create a safer class environment for everyone.

The class is a society or place for students to learn and develop themselves.

That involves having both a physical and emotional environment for effective teaching and learning.

However, these goals cannot be fully achieved without a mechanism that states clearly what people can or can’t do.

For example, the absence of rules can promote misbehavior and/or disruptions in the class.

That makes the place a less emotionally safer place for students to learn effectively.

Also, effective rules always discourage or prevent behavior such as fighting and engaging in dangerous activities.

This prevents students from sustaining physical injuries. Hence, the physical environment becomes a safer place for teaching and learning to occur.

Therefore, one important reason why I will encourage you to always make rules for your lessons is to promote the safety of everyone.

 

It Produces Responsibility among Everyone

The existence of rules and their implementation mold students to become responsible.

Rules teach everyone to know his or her limit and to be responsible for their actions or inactions.

Knowing that everyone knows the consequences for their actions, whether positive or negative.

Effective rules are balanced in the sense that they can prevent misbehavior on one hand and provide consequences for misbehavior on the other.

That’s effective rules don’t emphasize only consequences such as punishments, but also discourage students from misbehaving.

Responsible students always do what they are allowed to do and shun away from what they are not. Classroom rules help you to turn your students into responsible beings.

 

It Promotes Effective Teaching

As teachers, we always for the opportunity to teach effectively in our classrooms. However, we sometimes struggle to achieve that due to both in-class and out-of-class problems.

Almost all the problems that impede our ability to teach effectively can be prevented and reduced if we have clear and effective classroom rules.

This is possible because classroom rules improve our classroom management abilities. Rules are one of the critical tools used in managing classes.

This is why scholars in education encourage teachers to have or create classroom rules right from the beginning of their lessons with their students.

Without classroom rules, our classes will look like jungles where everyone does what he or she wants with no limits. That is, there will not be structure and standards on how to behave in class.

Therefore, we must always consider having clear classroom rules, procedures, and standards to guide the behavior of everyone in our classes.

 

It Promotes Effective Learning

Classroom rules help teachers to create conducive environments for students to learn effectively.

When two or more people come together at a place, there must be a structure and/or framework within which they will relate with one another.

This makes it possible for the survival and the successful running of the gathering. Rules help provide the structure.

The classroom is a society of people. Therefore, there must be rules to guide the attitude and behavior of students.

Having that helps create an environment where students exhibit appropriate behaviors.

What Are the Guidelines for Creating Effective Classroom Rules?

 If you are convinced about the importance of having rules to govern your classroom, consider the following to help you create some for your lessons:

 

They Must be Clear

The effectiveness of every classroom rule and regulation is highly dependent on how clear they are.

I recommend you make your rules as clear as possible to the understanding of everyone in the class.

Even as an adult, imagine the difficulty in trying to obey and respect a policy or rule you don’t fully understand.

Therefore, classroom rules must be stated in clear terms devoid of words that are ambiguous.

 

They Must be Reasonable

Rules must be reasonable in order to be effective in promoting appropriate behavior.

That is, they must be reasonable according to the age of your students.

Some rules are just appropriate and suitable for some levels of students than others.

For example, you should not have the same rules for both primary and high school students.

Also, your rules must be reasonable to the nature and cultural backgrounds of your students.

By human nature, some rules will not be reasonable. For example, a rule suggesting that students should not be flying during lessons.

The cultural backgrounds of students also impact how your rules may be. Make rules that are not contrary to the cultural beliefs of your students.

 

They Must Be Enforceable

You must be able to enforce the classroom rules you established.

This is important because rules are made to be enforced effectively.

That is the implementation of the rules must not demand powers that you don’t possess in your context.

Don’t make rules that are contrary to the policies of the education system in your location. Else you will not be able to enforce them.

Also, don’t make rules whose implementation cannot be supported by existing structures and systems in your school.

You must, therefore, consider the above when making rules with your students.

 

Develop between four and six rules.

Classroom rules must not be plenty such that students can’t remember all of them.

They must be four to six rules for each class. What is necessary to support them is a clear procedure and routine.

Class procedures and routines are useful because you can use them to further tackle other matters necessary for classroom success.

Therefore, make sure to not make plenty of rules for classes.


Make classroom rules consistent with school-wide rules.

As mentioned earlier, your class rules must be consistent with the overall rules of your school.

If not you will face problems trying to implement and enforce them.

So make sure your rules are in line with those of your school.


Write the rules using positive language.

Effective rules must be stated positively. Avoid the use of “no” or “not” in the sentences.

Having them in a positive form removes the negative aspects of the rules, especially the negative consequences.

For example, don’t say “You should not talk when another person is talking.” Rather say, “You should allow others the time to talk.”


Consider
students’ cultural backgrounds.

As stated earlier, the cultural backgrounds of your students impact highly on your classroom rules.

Become sensitive to the impacts of culture on education. That is, try to be culturally savvy.

Without that the rules will not be reasonable to the students. For example, it will be normal to see people interrupt one another during a discussion in some cultures while it is not in others.

In a multicultural setting, take time to understand a balance point for everyone and get them to understand and appreciate the rules.


Teach
and demonstrate each rule.

After making the rules, you need to spend time and get everyone to understand them.

This is how they will become effective as they become clearer when you teach it to the students.

Demonstrate each of the rules so that they can experience them. For example, if one of your rules is to “respect one another”, what do you mean by that? Students may interpret it to mean different things.

Make sure nothing remains ambiguous to any of the students. That is necessary because it improves the effectiveness of the rules.


Post
the rules in a prominent spot.

I always recommend you post the rules to a strategic area in the classroom.

That should be a place where everyone can see and read them.

That serves as a reference or a reminder to them if anyone forgets part of it.

Refer students to the post from time to time as a reminder.


Decide
whether to include students in the development of rules.

I always recommend involving students in the creation of classroom rules.

That always makes my students feel responsible and accountable for what they have contributed in making.

For ages from ten to upwards, I always allow everyone to sign it. That proves further that everyone accepted and agreed to them.

Final Thoughts