Using Classroom Rules to Correct Student Misbehaviour

By ChinaFlag [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

“One of the things that I learned this year (teaching grade 6 for the first time) is that when a student is misbehaving, it’s sometimes hard not to get into a power struggle. If you have clear and concise rules, you’re able to identify their behaviour as breaking one of the specific classroom rules.

Our Classroom Rules

1. Do My Best
2. Follow Directions
3. Listen Attentively
4. Treat others how I want to be treated
5. Respect the classroom, the people and the things in it.

These rules are easy to understand and will help to prevent and manage any misbehaviour that may occur in the class.

Use Rules To Correct Misbehaviour

‘Jessica, you are not listening attentively because you are talking. You are breaking rule #3. This is your warning.’

‘Ethan, you are breaking rule #2. My directions were to warm up, but you are turned around talking again, This is your second warning. If I have to speak to you again …… (insert previously decided on consequence).’

I found that there wasn’t much arguing back if I identified their behaviour, the expected behaviour, and what rule they weren’t following.

But I always told them they only needed to focus on Rule #1. If they do their best, then they will be following the rest of the rules automatically. This rule moves beyond academics to encompass behaviour, interactions with others, and much more.”

This tip come courtesy of an online discussion I took part in on the subject of classroom management. Allison Tamblyn contributed the above advice and David Collins elaborated on it with this great classroom discussion model.

Do Your Best!

“You don’t have to be the best, just do YOUR best!

We all have different strengths and no one is the BEST at everything. So forget the pressure of being perfect, just give it your personal best for the time in whatever you’re doing.

Doing your best does NOT necessarily mean that you are the best student in the class. It doesn’t mean getting As or achieving level 4s all the time.

The truth is my ‘best’ today may be different than my personal “best” tomorrow, or for that fact, a day, week, or month from now. There are times when I come to school feeling tired from a late night up with my 7 month old OR I may be feeling sick or have a headache. Other days, I might feel on top of the world and motivated about everything!

I have this discussion with my students on the first day of school and I make a commitment to them that I will give my personal best each day. As long as you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and know that you’re giving it your best for that activity or for that day, you’re following through with your commitment to the class.

With this in mind, I have talked honestly with my students when I am feeling fantastic and fired up about our learning AND during those less-often times when I’m not be feeling 100%. It’s been my experience that many students feel comfortable with this understanding and appreciate that we can be open and honest about how we’re feeling. Over the course of the school year, students become more comfortable with sharing how they’re feeling… And I think one of the most important (if not the most important) factors in creating a positive classroom cultures is when your students know that you care!”

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive – Your source for great tips, tricks, and lessons, you can use in your teaching practice.

3 responses to “Using Classroom Rules to Correct Student Misbehaviour”

  1. Hi Hilary,

    I made a small distinction this year with my rules. Instead of saying, "Do Your Best," I wrote "Do My Best" because these rules apply to me as the teacher as well.

    Hope we both have a great day!

    Thanks for the comment!