These are the Guidelines for Success, Rules, and Expectations that I set for my class as well as the values and principles they are founded upon. They are posted in the classroom and discussed with students at the beginning of the year and are revisited and referred to throughout the remainder of the year.
Guidelines for Success
I respect the safety and property of others.
I respect the opinions and perspectives of others.
I respect the right of others to learn.
Value: I must allow ourselves and others the right to a safe environment that will allow them to learn. I must also respect the property of others.
I arrive on time and prepared.
I do as instructed when instructed.
I take responsibility for my own actions and learning.
Value: I am accountable for my own actions and the consequences thereof.
I involve myself in my learning by making comments and asking questions.
As a team player, I contribute and encourage others.
I make excellence for all my top priority.
Value: I am responsible for the success of my school. My ultimate goal is positive results for myself and those in my community.
There is only one rule in my classroom: You may do whatever you like in this class, provided it doesn't cause a problem for anyone else.
Of course, the catch is that I am a person in my class just like my students, and so they must take into consideration what would be a problem for me as well. My job is to effectively teach them the material and help them grow as individuals - students must behave in such a way as does not disrupt my ability to do so.
When I am not able to perform my job, I inform students that their behavior is creating a problem for me and I cannot teach. When a problem arises between students, I ask them if the behavior of another person is creating a problem from them. If so, they should remind the other student of the rule. Thus far, I have not had further issues when I remind them of the rule in this manner, and this encourages students to become independently responsible for their behavior and own their reactions to another student's behavior. When necessary, I proceed to my progressive discipline policy.
Credit for this concept and rule goes to Teaching with Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom by Jim Fay and David Funk (1995), p. 107-108.
Look with the position of attention.
Show me when you get it and when you don't.
Electronics hidden unless given permission
No talking over.
Position of Attention: Head up, Two eyes, Squared shoulders, Mouth silent, Hands free.