The Importance of Rules in the Classroom
By: Gusti Ayu Agung Tania Gautami
The use of class rules in our learning process is a regular practise and feature in every classroom. Unlike in the past where the rules were decided by the teachers for implementation by the students, these days, students and teachers make an agreement to decide on the rules that help them do well in class. Deciding on the rules together helps the students engage in open communication and discussion to find the best ones for them. These rules encourage the students to implement all the positive actions with their teachers and their friends.
Implementing rules in our students’ lives will lead them to behaving properly which can later on become a good habit. Not only the students will have to follow the rules; the teachers also need to implement the rules. Here are a few possible classroom rules:
Listen when someone is talking.
Use the magic words (excuse me, sorry, thank you, please).
Raise your hand if you want to answer or ask a question.
Respect your classmates and your teachers.
Be responsible for your belongings, etc.
What if the students violate the rules? If we make the rules, there should be consequences that the students need to face if they break them. The teachers should think about it and make an agreement with the students. For example, if the student breaks the rule once, they will get their first warning, and so on. Why do we need the consequences? We need these to let the students know that they have to follow the rules and train their consistency in doing good things. Students also need to learn that all our actions, words and decisions have consequences and effects. If they choose the wrong thing, then they also need to be ready with its effect.
What are the class rules for? Student discipline needs to be led by the teachers. It will show the students’ characteristics and how successfully they learn in the class. If the rules have been chosen and agreed upon by the class, they then will feel that they have a shared responsibility for their implementation. They will have a sense of ownership for the rules and will be more mindful of how their class performs, too.
How can students be taught to follow the rules? Teachers can encourage and train them to follow the rules every meeting and they have to repeat this every time they are at school. The other way is by asking the students to be leaders in the classroom. Once they become leaders, they need to be responsible for their assigned tasks and their class. This will train the students to become not onlyresponsible but also reliable and trustworthy. This is how the class rules will help the students and the teachers get involved in a good learning process.