All teachers have different priorities and come at the job from different perspectives. Regardless of what your classroom goals are, having a strong set of rules to guide your year is incredibly important. Determining classroom management strategies is something that can be done at any point in the year. Additionally, there are considerable benefits to involving your students in drafting classroom rules.

Check out these suggestions for teaching collaboration and involving your students in the process:

More Likely to Abide

Imagine that you walked into a room that belonged to neither you nor anyone else inside of it, but someone immediately approached you and said “you can’t wear shoes in here.” It might seem a bit strange. If you entered that same room in the same situation and had a conversation involving all present to determine that it would be best for everyone not to wear shoes, you’d understand the rule more thoroughly.

As Scholastic has pointed out, students are simply far more likely to abide by classroom rules when and if they’ve had a hand in creating them. There’s a certain degree of accountability felt by any student when they know that they’ve been part of the motivation for a given policy. You will be able to remind students of their involvement in instances where rules need to be enforced.

The Rules Can Become a Lesson

The beginning of a school year can be a stressful time for teachers, but it can be downright frightening for students, especially younger ones. Think about it, they’re entering a completely new learning environment, potentially with new friends, after having spent a year with another group. One of the things that students are bound to struggle with the most is adapting to your teaching style. In a sense, creating the rules can be used as a lesson plan, offering a low pressure and fun way for students to experience your creative curriculum abilities for the first time. ProTeacher shows that many educators do use this experience as an introduction to their methods, and that it not only helps form expectations, but also makes students feel more welcome.

Creating a Classroom Identity

One of the best things that you can do to make your students feel at home in your classroom and encourage their success is establish a strong class identity. Having your students be involved in the rulemaking process is sure to help them understand that the classroom is a product of their behavior. You can use this identity to continually enforce the rules. Once your students understand that their behaviors create a collective identity, you’ll be in a far better position to influence their understanding of the importance of rules. As the year progresses, you should notice the collective sense of responsibility for obeying and enforcing the rules begin to develop a sense of pride in your students, your classroom and your school.