What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why? If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

Expert Answers
booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in the classroom is to show respect to others whether you agree with them or not: it's all right to agree to disagree, and it takes nothing from you to do so; it is important, I tell them, for each student to enter my class and know that he or she can be safe from ridicule or censorship. It may be the only place they get such acceptance all day.

My reasoning is that our students will (we hope) eventually move out into society, and we want them not only to be able to survive, but to excel and be happy. However, that is only part of the picture. If we can teach our children to show tolerance and empathy, they can pass it on to others. Not everyone will appreciate their efforts, but how nice to change the world, one person at a time, rather than throwing up our hands and thinking it is impossible.

We plant the seed, never knowing if or when it will take root. However, I think living by example is a great way to teach as well. I'm not perfect with this, but I keep trying because I believe it's the right thing to do; but I also try because these kids don't miss anything. (If only they were that perceptive and motivated during "lesson time!")

As a PS, this is not a rule, but I try to make my kids laugh. It's so healthy, and I love it when they make me laugh. Sometimes they are so funny that the tears run down my face, and how they love that, too!

mishukitty eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

 One word:  RESPECT.  As long as you respect me as a teacher (which by the way does not mean I'm you equal--I have graduated with a college degree in my subject, many of us also hold masters, and also I hold a job--most teens haven't yet), I will respect as a youth on his/her scholastic journey toward adulthood.  Once one of us has broken this rule (and to be perfectly honest, sometimes it's been me) behavior will change between us.  For me, it may involve me apologizing to an individual (or even the whole class) that I have done wrong.  For a student that has not shown me or a fellow student respect means that I will alter my behavior towards them as is appropriate.  My room is not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship.  I must not shirk  my responsibility to provide a student an education, but it doesn't mean I have to like them either.  I do not have to go out of my way to be nice, to remind them of due dates, to extend due dates, to give extra credit, to bounce them up to the next highest grade.  In other words, I must always be professional in my interactions, but I don't need to be nice to them.

whytaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I keep my rules simple and yet they do cover most issues.  They are "Do what you are supposed to be doing and be where you are supposed to be."  This covers a ton of issues, for example, we should be working on vocabulary, and yet a student is instead texting.  I can now write them up as they are violating my rules.  One of our problems at our school are "hall wanderers" so my second rule addresses that.  If you asked to go to the restroom, but are found in a computer lab, I can now refer you to the office because you were not where you were supposed to be. 

I find that most students understand my rules regardless of how vague they may appear.  I can also defeat arguments by simply asking, "Were you doing what you were supposed to be doing?" and if the answer is not yes, but instead a string of excuses, I repeat the question until they finally admit that "No, I was not."  It becomes quite simple at that point.  Rule violated, and how they can come back into line.  Do what you are supposed to be doing.

jbiersach eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In a discussion course that features student facilitation as well as presentations, students will not feel comfortable in making comments or taking important intellectual risks unless they feel safe.  If students are ever allowed to laugh at their classmates earnest efforts or in any way belittle the work that their classmates' produce, the environment will become toxic and there will be no genuine discussion based on serious, creative student consideration.

I tell my students that there is really only one way to make me mad: to disrespect their classmates in any way.  I have a reputation for being very calm and hard to rattle or upset.  I may go for years without yelling or raising my voice much at all.  However, my students have heard stories about times when I have become upset, and all of those student legends about me relate directly to the fact that I will not tolerate students who disrespect their classmates during discussions or presentations.

peiqianlong eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Response #158 is more or less what I do in my class. One of the better ways of making things work in a class is to help instill the idea of us, students and teacher - being conscious about how our actions affect other people in the class. In the beginning of the school year, my class brainstorms on positive and negative ideas and actions that we percieve can make us all productive or unproductive and discuss how these ideas and actions affect individual students and the class as a whole. From here, we create our class rules focusing on individual responsibility and accountability. As a rule, the class should be aware at all times that we share the same space with other individuals and that to keep harmony in that space, we should ask ourselves, "how does my words and actions affect the person next to me?" Social awareness creates a caring and respectful person in the classroom and beyond.

mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule was to Listen with respect.  Being an 8th grade teacher, I had to demonstrate the many faces used by students to silently express unacceptable ideas without using words.  They then understood that they could not make faces about students they were assigned to work with and use the old excuse, "But I never said anything!"  The rule also covered listening to me or to each other's responses or ideas as well as hearing each other in a discussion.  At the end of every unit, I asked the students to tell me what I had done well and what I had missed telling them which would have made the project easier to understand.  I found that listening to students with respect and implementing some of their ideas taught them that they had worthy ideas, that I needed to listen too, and that our classroom worked much better if we accepted each other and worked together.

chimeric eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lots of teachers and administrators have different pet peeves in the classroom--students not paying attention, talking on the phone, passing notes, sleeping, coming in late, not participating, etc.

Of course I want all of my students to be actively involved in every lesson, but come on, I'm human, they're human, none of us are going to be all the way "on" at all times, for every lesson.

Also, different students have different learning styles, I will never be able to connect with some of my students no matter how hard I try because I can not effectively teach every single learning style.

So, I pretty much allow anything in my classroom as long as it does not distrupt the lesson for me or for those students in the classroom who are involved and can get something out of the lesson.

So, do whatever you do, but do it silently and without drama.

tolchowy eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

Respect!  Students must demonstrate respect for one another.  This does not mean liking each other necessarily but rather realizing that everyone has a right to an education that is not inhibited by others.  Also that everyone has different opinions and each are to be respected even if they differ from your own opinion.  Finally, I also tell students that they must respect themselves.  Usually when students do not complete an assignment it is because they couldn't not because they didn't want to.  If they respect themselves and their education then they will advocate for themselves and seek help for the answers as opposed to simply just letting the learning pass them by.

howesk eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in the classroom is think before you speak. There is no rule that applies more universally to a classroom than this.

Before you answer a question, think.

Before you ask a question, think.

Before you ask to go to the bathroom, think.

Before you talk to your neighbor, think.

My close second favorite rule, though, is a quote from Shakespeare: "Everyone ought to bear patiently the results of his/her own conduct". There's nothing like this:
 "I can't believe you gave me a demerit!"

"Well, what did you do to deserve the demerit? Think about it."

"Oh yeah... Well..."

I think it's a big part of a teacher's duty to teach students not only the information in the lesson plans, but how to act in general.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in my classroom is everyone contributes to the learning process. I have learned that instead of  the "chalk and talk" traditional method of teaching, it is more effective if students interact amongst themselves and with the teacher,  to arrive at a conclusion to a problem. Part of being able to internalize a concept, is to feel you have actively solved the problem the teacher presents that day in class. Instead of simply copying notes, actively learning something will enable the student to process the concept and remember it in a more meaningful way. Therefore, everyone is responsible for learning in my classroom and this learning can be gauged by immediate feedback using writing, drawing or presenting as a "window" into my students' thought processes.

jashley80 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have one for my students and one for myself (I teach inner city high school)...

For my students: "Don't be a distraction to your peers' learning," as it can be very difficult to get my students focused (particularly when I teach freshmen) and too many students do not see the value of education and therefore the need to respect the educational setting (until they leave my class!).

For myself: "Employ my sense of humor - often." This means not only use it in the classroom (my sarcasm has grown exponentially in the years I have been teaching!) to redirect off task behaviors and engage students in learning, but also to laugh at all of the unbelievable things that actually go on in the educational system (if we don't laugh we may cry, right?).


rskardal eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure that most educators have a number one rule, per se. I think the reality might be that we have a specific rule that we focus on, but that it changes over time. For example, many teachers will start with "treat others with respect" or "be polite" at the start of their career. This isn't surprising because I think an inexperienced teacher is likely to focus on management. However, as teachers gain experience, I think we start to take things like "respect" as a given. After, I think many teachers will reveal their individuality as they focus on things like "strive for excellence," "humor is a vital part of any learning community," or "curiosity is at the heart of learning." I've dodged your question, though hopefully you'll understand why.

sensei918 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You can make rules as a teacher, but in order to get the students to follow them, you have to show them respect as individuals and demand that same respect in return.I don't think that attitude works if you state it as a rule; you must embody the example and make it clear that you will accept no less from your students than what you give to them. That being said, my #1 rule is: have fun. That goes for both me and my students. If we are not having fun, we are not doing it right, and it applies across the board, whatever subject I happen to be engaged in teaching at the time. My teaching philosophy can be summed up by Dr. Seuss: "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." Having fun is NEVER at anyone's expense.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule is for me, not for my students.  I remind myself daily that I need to respect my students.  I strongly believe that if I treat my students with respect, they will respect me and the classroom will be a peaceful place.

I teach my students to respect each other, but there are no actual rules in my classroom.  I don’t have any posted on the wall, and I don’t review them on the first day of school.  Instead, I have procedures that I expect my students to remember and I am careful to get to know them and treat them with respect.

I always ask myself, is this something that I would do or say to an adult?  If I cannot pass that test, I should not do or say this to a child in my class.

acordes eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

 At the beginning of the year, I give my students a firm "I/We will not stand for" statement.  We agree, as a class, that we will not stand for the belittling, hatred, or picking on of any person in our class because of their race, gender, class, sexual orientation, hair color, freckle location, or differing ear sizes.  We talk about those things that make us unique and how lucky we are to learn together and from each other.  That is the firmest I am all year and they don't push it for the rest of the year.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The number one rule I have learned during a 33 plus-year career is being consistent. Make the students aware of your expectations and follow through with class procedures in a predictable manner. There should not be different rules for different students. A contract is important, class rules should be posted and rubrics are used to keep the grading procedure very transparent. There should be clear expectations of learning, behavior, respect and participation to remove the guess work from students. Most young people crave a routine that is not subject to change. If you expect the students to respect themselves, and their peers along with the teacher, you must model these behaviors. Good luck!

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to follow a cheesy little thing we called "ABC's" when I worked at a wilderness camp for at-risk youth - All Around Basic Cleanliness.  This was the idea that everything needs to be in order, from the classroom to the students.  In my public school we had a standard mode of dress - which I enforced to a Nazi degree.  My classroom is always organized and tidy - as are my lessons - planned and ready to go.  When every controllable factor is "clean" - the uncontrollable ones (kids' behavior) are easier to spot early.  I also fight the small battles small - and I rarely have to deal with big battles.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

  Optimum learning occurs in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.  Once I give the lesson and assign the work, I allow them to visit and interact with each other, help each other, and otherwise just watch.  I like to pair them up in teams and let them "hash" it out.  They raise their hands if they need help and I move around the room assisting anyone who needs it.  Many times I'll play soft music in the background.  They love it and we get a lot accomplished in a short time! 

catd1115 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

RESPECT. I tell my students that respect is the first and only rule of my classroom. To respect themselves, the other people in the classroom and the room itself. I tell them to try their best and never let anyone else put them down, this shows respect for themselves. They all know how to respect others, they just have to choose to. Lastly our classroom is our home away from home, why not make it clean, safe and comfortable?

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule is no talking while the teacher is talking. It's tough for other kids who want a true learning experience when other conversations are going on around you, and it's a show of respect for the teacher as head of the classroom.

Absolutely right!  If the students talk while the teacher instructs, they will try other things, too, such as leaving their seats, etc. and the classroom will be chaos.

Insisting on quiet when instruction is given also conditions students for listening when their classmates contribute to discussion or raise relevant questions.

litchick2011 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

Have RESPECT!!!! I have found that everything good stems from a mutual respect. I have respect for my students and show this to them by being fair and choosing literature/activities that suit their interests. The students demonstrate respect by simply doing what I ask....homework is turned in, discussions are lively AND tolerant of all viewpoints. It is the one thing I stress on a daily basis.

aliddi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule is that WE LEARN TOGETHER.

Working in cooperative learning groups promotes:

1. Positive social interactions - students learn to interact with one another in a positive, safe environment.

2. Respect for each other - students learn to respect each other because they need each other to complete the day's activities.

3. Responsibility - each member is responsible for a part of the work completed.

4. Accountability - my students hold each other accountable for completing work, managing time, staying on task, cleaning up supplies, etc.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

  My #1 rule is DON'T TALK WHEN THE TEACHER IS TALKING!  The reason I stress this is I'm there to teach and they can't learn if they don't pay attention to me when I'm talking.  So, from day one they learn to not interrupt and to stop whatever they're doing as soon as I start talking.  At the same time, if they have something to say I respect their time and don't interrupt them. 

lffinj eNotes educator| Certified Educator
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

 My number one expectation is respect for the teacher and respect for each other.  This is important in my classes because I believe if students are comfortable answering questions without fear of their classmates' reactions, the classroom is a more comfortable place.  I also think respect, in general, is important in life and students sometimes need to be reminded of this.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that establishing a climate of scholarship from the opening moments of interaction is critical.  I try to set up that everything we do in the classrom is in pursuit of scholarship.  This is how we function and operate and all that is done has to be in its name.  This would be why horseplay and disruptiveness is unacceptable, for it takes away from scholarship and the ends to which one can proceed to it.  I think that being able to stress this throughout the year is what helps out a great deal in establishing the climate of learning in the classroom setting.

mamape eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My most important rule is "the two Cs of communication" - clear and calm! I try and stress not only the importance of communicating clearly, both about our subject matter, and the students grades and expectations etc, to avoid dramas! The "calm" is kind of my version of respectful, as the students can normally easily judge what content I consider appropriate, but the "calm" rule helps them to remember to keep volume and attitude appropriate too.

Although... I have to admit that, as I teach ESL much of the time, Rule No. 1 on my wall is "Speak in English!"

appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Respect for the instructor and for other students is paramount. Of course this translates to many behaviors. Lack of respect for others is what tends to be behind poor classroom behavior, including use of cell phones, side conversations during lectures, denigrating the opinions of others (whether verbally or non-verbally), leaving the room in the middle of a lecture, etc. If you don't have respect and decorum, it's hard for learning to happen. I find this kind of decorum has really slipped in recent years; kids are so much more entitled and selfish acting now.

ajmchugh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I require that students respect themselves, each other, and me--at all times.  To me, this is the most important rule an educator can have, as so much depends on the mutual presence of respect.  I teach high school, and I find that when students respect their teacher and each other, they are more willing to learn, discuss, debate, and have fun in class.  Students want to please a teacher whom they respect, and I think that having high school students want to please their teachers and work hard to make them proud is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. 

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have two rules that are a must:  always do your best and always treat others with respect.  If they follow these two rules, everything else falls into place.  Doing your best includes being prepared, being on time to class, and turning in homework students are proud to put their names on...which translates to good grades and great class discussions.  Respecting others creates a classroom atmosphere where there is no fear of risk.  Which helps with rule number 1, and helps us all tolerate the off days when we have them.

crmhaske eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most important rule to me is to enter my classroom with an empty cup, and an open mind.  You cannot teach a person who believes they already have the answers, and you cannot share your perspective with someone who has already decided what is right.  I believe that humility is one of the most important qualities that a teacher can possess.  I expect no more from my students than I expect from myself, and as such, I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

jtutino eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tell my students that the most important rule in my classroom is "edifying language only."   I have often been disappointed at my students for teasing, taunting or tearing each other down, and then trying to excuse their statements by saying "just kidding."  In my classroom, students are instructed to use language that will build up their classmates self-esteem.  My students know that if they need to say "just kidding," then what they want to say is inappropriate.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in the classroom is that Everyone must be able to hear what I say! Every member of the class has the same rights to access the education, information and insights that I provide and I do not tolerate being talked over, interrupted, distracted by attention-seeking students, or being  responded to rudely. Students who do these things are restricting the access of other students who want to learn and need to hear what I have to share with them.

khenson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have so many rules...this is difficult.

While noble and important, humor can go terribly wrong and respect is impossible to gauge.

The most important rule to follow as a teacher is to LOVE your subject.  Anyone entering a classroom can discern immediately if the instructor is simply going through the motions or that they honestly feel that the material they are responsible for sharing is significant.

Love it or leave it.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule is that my students remain 100% engaged in the lesson at all times. If they are 100% engaged, they will have no time for visiting, jesting, doing homework, sleeping, etc. My classes are taught Socratically, and it is impossible for students to follow the discussion if they are not actively listening and participating. I can't say that I always get complete compliance, but I get enough to demonstrate the efficacy of the rule.

jmj616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I learned my Number One rule from a principal, which is not my usual source for inspiration.

The rule states: The one who is doing the most work is the one who is learning the most.

And that person is THE STUDENT.  Yes, I work hard to prepare, to manage, to assist, to instruct, etc.  But my most important goal is to motivate the students to get off their proverbial hind legs and GET BUSY with something, anything, constructive.

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Offer respect with an open mind."

Obviously, respect for classmates and ideas is #1, but with that students must be willing to break from their comfort zones and explore what the subject matter (in my case, literature) has to offer. I feel that no learning can take place unless preconceived notions are challenged. And what better way to grow than by revisiting your own assumptions and beliefs, while considering others?

mitchrich4199 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in the classroom is that the kids must "think." Everything that they do must come from their minds and what they think about the books we're reading, the conversations we're having and the writing we're doing. I make it extremely clear at the beginning of the year that what they think matters in my classroom and that they have to be able to express what they think in order for the class to move forward.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mine is 'treat others the way you would wish to be treated'. I  explore this idea in the first lesson with each class, and we negotiate the code for our classroom from this. The ideas of not talking when others are talking, hands and feet to yourself, respecting and responding positively, etc. come from this one idea. Teachers need to be included the rules that foster good behaviour and a positive learning environment.  

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Have a sense of humor--this is a rule for me and my students.  I teach high school juniors and seniors, and it is imperative that I can laugh at myself and that my students can do so too.  This is not to say that my classroom is full of raucous laughter, but it creates an environment where students are not afraid to make mistakes and where I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know all the answers to life's problems.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is going to make me sound like a control freak but to me in my experience the most important thing is that the students know that I as the teacher am in control - not them. Everything seems to flow from this. If they know who is boss then they can have a great learning experience. Of course, this needs to be reinforced (constantly with some classes) but it really guarantees a productive learning environment.

kristenfusaro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in the classroom is Fairness. All students are treated equally and fairly; there are no "favorites." All grading is based on a clearly defined mathematical rubric. All students are held to the same standards for both academic achievement and behavior. When all things are fair, you earn the respect of your students which thus creates a smooth and effective working environment.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I respect my students first of all. I find that when the students are treated with respect then they will naturally respect you. This helps a great deal with classroom management. I also require my students to treat everyone else with respect as well.

I agree with the post that stated they keep a sense of humor in the classroom. I think this is very important (and healthy) as well.

terryhi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in my class is respect. I make sure that my students respect their fellow classmates and their teacher. The class atmosphere goes uncontrollable when the students do not respect each other. Students listen patiently when others are speaking and never mock at their opinions. I think when students show respect, they start to truly enjoy their classes.

burbina eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule in my classroom starts with myself, and trickles down to my students.  That rule is Consistency.  If I am consistent with my students:  with what I tell them to do, with what I expect from them academically and behaviorally, then they in turn become consistent with what they give me and how they live up to my expectations.

copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have but three written rules in my classroom: be respectful, be responsible, and be involved. As an activity early in the school year, I have my high school students brainstorm lists of examples and non-examples of each of these rules. In effect, they are the ones who delineate the details of what precisely these rules mean.

dastice eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Don't cause a problem for yourself or anyone else.  I got this from "Love and Logic", and it works pretty well.  Most of the rules I see posted in other teacher's rooms fall under the umbrella of this one.  When students are doing something they shouldn't, we discuss why it is causing a problem and how they can fix it.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Be consistent. If you say you are going to do something, you must follow through. Students expect discipline and consequences. They expect the same outcome to rules and not inconsistency. You must be strict but at the same time, be fair. That has served me well throughout my almost 29 years of teaching.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No laughing at other people's ideas.  I love humor, I love to laugh, and my classes tend to be (I hope) pretty fun.  But I will not tolerate people laughing at other people's ideas.  That is the quickest way in my opinion to stifle someone's willingness to participate and to be intellectually creative.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Respect is #1, and it goes both ways. If I don't have respect for my students, they will know it, and all situations deteriorate. If respect is present, most other rules are unnecessary; students who feel respected, show respect, and that translates into being on time, doing homework, etc.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Be on time.  It may just be a pet peeve of mine, but when students come late, besides showing disrespect to me and everyone else in the class also interrupts whatever we're doing, and I like to teach bell to bell.  My students learn quickly it's one of the few ways to get me angry.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number-one rule is that everyone comes to class prepared to work. That means that they should have their textbook, paper, and something to write with. Yet I still have kids ask me, "Do we need our books today?" My answer is always, "When do you not need your books?"

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My number one rule is no talking while the teacher is talking. It's tough for other kids who want a true learning experience when other conversations are going on around you, and it's a show of respect for the teacher as head of the classroom.

thewanderlust878 | Student

I think that if I had a classroom of my own (and even when I worked with kids and day camp and such) my number one rule would be to respect everyone's ideas and thoughts, including yourself. I would also include that everyone deserves to have the same learning opportunities as everyone else, so I would make sure everyone got a chance to speak their mind if they so wished. 

eajohnson | Student

My number one rule is kindness!  With kindness brings sharing, understanding, respect, fun, laughter, trustworthiness, citizenship, caring, responsibility, and fairness.  I love to create a classroom community where we all get along and everyone is a friend to one another.  You can count on anyone in the class to help another person in the class if you have kindness.  Kindness is a great lesson for elementary students to learn when they arrive in Kindergarten. It will carry through with them to adulthood!

zumba96 | Student

If I had a classroom of my own I would make sure that the kids are happy and having fun. If you have a classroom and the kids are bored no one will learn. I know this by experience because after the AP testing at my school, in some classes the kid were too bored to learn and didn't do anything. That's why you need an engaging teacher. I would also make an outline so the kids would have fun and understand the materials needed to study. I would make sure that they understand respect, participation, the importance of friendship. These are some ideas I would have if I was a teacher and I wanted my kids to be happy and having fun while learning. 

sid-sarfraz | Student

I believe that the most important thing applied in a classroom is respect and understanding. Respect for the teacher, respect for the students and even respect of the workers or pions.

Everyday should begin with a smile and this automatically creates a friendly atmosphere amongst the class. As compared to a day starting with a rude remark, it creates a bad impression and children for the whole day wont study by heart.

Then comes the behavior of children. If a child is not listening to a teacher then according to me first he should be told to behave and if he still doesn't listen then the simple solution is to ignore the child and make him feel that he is wrong. Instead of scolding or punishing him, he should be treated with patience and smiling face.

They should be taught manners and respect for each and every elder. But teaching them the difference of how would one should normally treat them and what is harassment. 

A teacher must have full control on her patience. A rude comment should never be passed on any child. Just keep in mind IF YOU WANT RESPECT THEN YOU SHOULD GIVE RESPECT.

Keep a smiling face whether you are tired or have a headache. Whatever is the reason but to keep and maintain a friendly and happy environment it totally depends on the teacher.

Every child is different coming from a different background. There will be good and even ill-mannered children. The ill-mannered child must be facing some kind of problem at home so a teacher must call that child afterwards and try to solve the problem.

Try to understand the problems of children and solve them. As after parents the next great thing to a child is his/her teacher. Remember A teacher can create and even destroy any child's mental level. Depends upon the teacher.

pammyteacher-rocks | Student

Dont get on anyone's nerves.   I know this sounds blunt (but I am that) and if you avoid to get on anyone's nerves then that pretty much is like an umbrella that covers (almost) everything.  I really do have a joking and sarcastic personality in life and with my students and they really respond positively to it.  I usually get all the behavior problem students for the year so being direct with them from day one is (in my opinion) the best way to start a fresh new year.  They always end up having the best behavior and academic year that they've ever had.  When everyone's cards are all on the table then we're able to get down to business immediately:)

nea4peace | Student

My number one rule is to have a friendly attitude towards your students and there should be a culture of mutual respect.

Also you should know what you're saying and be veri firm while explaining, often students tend to lose interest and start making noise when you seem uncertain and not very responsible.

We should be able to lead by catching the attention of the students first and keeping a good environment of interaction and team work.

pritijetjhwa | Student

As a primary teacher I firmly belive that respect the self esteem of the students along with some humor in the class makes my classes a great success.

Boosting the self confidence in the learner brings them closer to you.

Give and take of respect works out excellent, and for a teacher be prepared for any question posted to you by students must be answer satisfactorily will indicate that the teacher is competent enough for teaching the particular subject makes the learners love and respect the teacher.


aqtpy865 | Student

First and formost is to have respect flow both ways. I also let my students know that I learn from them as well. we are all students of life everyday and yes i may have the title and experience they are seeking, I also am a student always willing to learn.. even from my pupils.

mahmoudsaad297 | Student

My number one rule is providing a friendly atmosphere in the classroom and putting some red lines at the same time.A teacher should have a freindly realtionship with his students without losing his/her respect. this could motivate the students to work hard, not to be afraid of committing mistakes, and love the subject at the same time. Once the students love the teacher, they will love his subject and will do whatever it takes to become perfect in it.

mrsc2011 | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

Respect each other and your opinions.  it is the most important thing to establish.  Students who do not feel secure and safe in your classroom will never participate.  It is our job to make students feel self-assured that they will not be ridiculed for their answers.  Lower level readers will never read aloud if they fear mocking.  Be firm in this rule.  Express that as a group we are all on the same page and are family for the year.  Respect for each other is key.

lbreiterrbcs | Student

Challenging students with material that is just fresh enough to pique curiousity and interest is my regular motivation. My class rules are get to work right away, and always give others a chance to share.  Sharing is an important part of my class and respecting what classmates say is of the utmost importance.  When ever we give criticism regarding one another's writing it is to be constructive and courteous.  The rule here is always give a specific compliment first followed by a specific constructive critcism delivered in a courteous manner so that it will be heard as a helping assistance.

coco85 | Student

I am a Tribes trained teacher and so I believe in building a community within my class, we create “Agreements” not “rules”. I get the students to brainstorm what THEY think is the proper way to behave. Be sure to write them all down in the brainstorm. Then go through it with the class and group similar ideas.  Then you, the teacher will rewrite the agreement. Make sure you write it in positive language, for example, don’t say “don’t hit others”, say “always keep hands to ourselves” or instead of “don’t yell” say “speak an indoor voice” etc. Once you have written all agreements on the chart paper, read it over to the class and tell them while they are working that you want each of them to go to the chart, reread it and if they agree to behave this way, then to sign (or print) their names. All teachers, assistants, student teachers etc, must also sign the contract. One rule that I am sure to enforce however, is the golden rule,  “do onto others as you wish them to do onto you”. In the book “Me to We; Finding Meaning in a Material World” but Craig and Marc Kielburger, on page 76-77 they list from religions all over the world similar rules as the golden rule.  No matter how different we are, this is a something that people from all around the world believe in and so it is my #1 class rule.

gfurse | Student

I have only 3 classroom rules. I used to have many, but seem to have been able to pare them down to these 3:

#1. Come to class prepared to learn.'

This includes completed homework, pens/pencils/paper, texts, personal reading book for when finished with work before the end of class, planner, and a GOOD ATTITUDE!

#2. Treat others the way you want to be treated.'

Not the way you were treated or the way you feel like treating them, but the way you want them to treat you.

#3. Learn that learning is FUN.' Learning new things is both challenging and rewarding. With knowledge comes the power to be successful and that makes life more enjoyable.

seaustin88 | Student

I don't really call this a "rule." However, I tell my students to come to class on their "A game." Then I tell them that if they are feeling down or having a bad day to "Fake it 'til they make it."  What I mean by this is we all have bad mornings, but we don't want our body language to take control.  I want my students to come into the the classroom with their best energy so they can absorb the information and move forward.  I don't want them to get lost in their pity party.  This is a lighthearted way of teaching them to have positive attitudes and learn to adjust to anything they may face.  Sometimes if they sense that I'm not in the best of moods, they remind me of my rule, and they will remind me that I don't have my "A game" on!

pastarte1 | Student

Respect for yourself and everyone else in the room would be my cardinal rule. If each person realizes that their contribution is valid and is considered important they tend to offer much more thought through infrmation. They also listen when others speak becuase they also know how importnat everyone's opinions are. I think respect is possibly the one thing that makes a difference between unruly classrooms and orderly classrooms. Of course, the students can discern whther or not you are truly resdpectful of their opinion or not, so you need to be in complete integerity around this.

pmsantan | Student

Always give 100% and don't be afraid to ask questions and make mistakes.  Not all students are straight A, or even A/B students and I try to make sure that each student understands that I am looking for their best effort, not whether or not they get an A on a particular assignment.  The only way to learn is to ask questions.  This encourages lifelong learners.  I want my students to ask questions, the same question more than once, if it's necessary for comprehension and understanding.  I don't want them to be so afraid of making mistakes that they quit trying or are hesitant about asking and answering questions.  Another rule in my classroom is that we do not make fun of or laugh at others.  There is a time and a place for fun and laughter and it's important that they are able to differeniate when fun and laughter are appropriate.

lmasters8 | Student

My rules or request for all students is to participate in a meaningful way. The more involved you are the more you will learn and the less likely you will be to get bored. Regardless of the topic everyone can ask,answer or contribute something. Do not be afraid to speak up.

kbarsamian | Student

I have always started the year by asking my students to help write the expectations for our class. The number one rule they say year after year is:

Be Kind to Everyone!

We always discuss what this means and it all comes down to respect. Some students have different ideas of what respect means and through this early discussion we all get a chance to say what is important to us. I write all their ideas down but with an overall heading over each one. I also think less is more--so I usually have no more than three main rules with their ideas under each one.

scrawford72 | Student

My #1 rule is that we are respectful of each other.  I show my students the same respect and courtesy that I want them to demonstrate towards others.  Leading by example goes a long way.

hpatton0 | Student

As an elementary special education teacher my number one rule is to follow directions the first time they are given. This rule lays the foundation for other classroom rules. In addition to the non-negotiables I have expectations that we created as a class such as showing respect and to "be your best self". This first rule allows me to control the classroom at all times, but also gives the students flexibility (i.e. during class discussions, partner work, music and movement,etc.). This rule is also helpful to control hallway, bathroom, and cafeteria behavior.

arlen1234 | Student

Interesting what the others have posted but my #1 rule is that when I am talking, they are listening. I have a great sense of humor and I tell alot of stories which relate to the lessons. I build on prior knowledge with discussion about the lesson but they need to listen to me.

bassplay12 | Student

My number one rule for myself is that I must pick my battles and know what I will not back down on.  I make a list of 3 things that I will definitely not allow in my classroom like disrespect and I stick to it. 

My number one rule for the classroom to know is that we're a team and we work together towards a common goal.  It is not me versus them.  I will have their back until they decide to misbehave or not join me in meeting our goals.

rainscent | Student


rbschreiber | Student

My number one rule in my English classroom is to keep a positive attitude, and this goes for myself and the students. We must maintain positivity and optimism. We strive to encourage one another. With that in mind, we must keep our standards and expectations reasonably high so that we continually stretch ourselves to accomplish more, never giving up or giving in.


I honestly believe a positive attitude makes life so much easier and happier, both in the classroom and beyond. No good comes from negativity, and it becomes a virus that quickly spreads. With positive thinking and a good attitude, anything is possible and everything is more enjoyable.

wfpkalumna | Student

The new semester began today, and I addressed this very issue. Because my classes involve debating about controversial issues, I require that my students respect their peers' opinions. They are not allowed to be condescending, rude or dismissive. They are not allowed to raise their voices or talk over others when they are speaking. They are to be respectful at all times. There are no exceptions.

mrcarey | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

For me, I try to create two things in my classroom:

  1. A classroom without fear. My goal is to create a place where students know they are safe from physical and psychological harrassment.  I have no 'rules' as such but I do have 'lines in the sand' with regard to inappropriate behaviour.
  2. A classroom that is challenging. Almost the opposite to point one above in some ways, but I try to get to know all students as well as I can and then find ways to personally challenge them with each unit I teach. This is not always possible and I am hamstrung (particularly with Maths) by external expectations. However, that is that goal that I set myself.
shelersk | Student

Always respect yourself and others.  The rest falls in line behind that.

joy2010 | Student

Make them laugh and create a suitable study environment because if they are bored, they are not likely to listen to you as a teacher. You must also respect them and teach them to respect you . You were a student once, so if students make mistakes, forgive them and try not to make them go too far if they continue to annoy you on purpose. Fear in not a suitable teaching method because it may create hate in theirselves.

cjohnson18 | Student

 My number ONE rule in the classroom is that neither teacher nor student may treat others badly.  There is room for pointing out errors and for arguing one's point of view.  There is no room for rudeness or sarcastic remarks aimed at students or teacher.  For my style of teaching, optimum learning does not occur without civility---from all participants, including me.  Of course,  sometimes students, and even teachers,  break this rule.  I then expect that the person who did so will take a few minutes to reflect and then apologize for the behavior and that the others will graciously accept the apology.   

santis | Student

To make sure that all the students are listening and hopefully reacting.

finngal | Student

to all of you out there.... just please whatever you do, dont let YOUR mood mean that WE have a bad lesson....its just not fair...:'(

In a more positive approach, one could say: "No matter our mood, let's have a good lesson."

bickemanne-a | Student

My rule in the classroom is Honor and Respect. Respect those in authority, but have some humor and fun during the class periods with the other students and teachers, but respect each other and the Teachers in authority with honor. Do have a good time at school, but remember and learn when to be serious and when to be goofy and have an incredibly fun time.

eh4clap | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

As my expectations are addressed with senior students, I firmly explain that although I am in control, I am fair and caring. If we respect ourselves first and all others completely, then we will certainly learn, enjoy, grow, prosper, and succeed - and we'll have fun doing it. What else is there on our journeys in life? The answer is a great future!

kvalunas | Student

One of the most important rules or words of wisdom that I use in my classroom is that "can't" is not in our vocabulary once you walk in the door. "I will try" or "I'm not sure how", are both acceptable as long as you are willing to do your best by making an effort everyday. Everyone is teachable and each has their own special gifts and talents. It is our job to guide and nurture those abilities and watch the growth blossom! I find that by encouraging the positive atmosphere, everything else just falls into place and there are very few conflicts or behavior issues to deal with.

mazzzz | Student

to all of you out there.... just please whatever you do, dont let YOUR mood mean that WE have a bad lesson....its just not fair...:'(

mujer | Student

My primary rule is to come to class with a good question.

jrain | Student

My rules are written on my desk: Work hard. Be good. (I painted my old desk with chalkboard paint last summer.) I also put this in the footer area of each test or handout i give to my students.

tahearne | Student

My number one rule in the classroom is respect for each other and the teacher.  Every student has a voice, and there will be no chastising, name calling, or teasing.  Each student gets to address what others say, however, they are not to talk over each other or make fun of what is said.  I do not require students to raise their hands, however, I do make sure they are paying attention to each other and what they have to say.

One thing I will not permit is talking when others are talking.  The students know that in order to keep our open discussions in English class they are to abide by these rules or they will be sent into the hallway with an alternative assignment.

stunawsome | Student

The number one rule I have been told since middle school is don't talk when the teacher is talking. Another rule would be, as most other people said in this post is treat people with respect and your teacher. These two rules are every teachers pet peeve!

euphrates | Student

First rule is Respect, because I believe in "Do as you would be done by" so when I respect my students, i will get their respect in return.

the second rule: don't ever never postpone an exam.

oluademic | Student

My expectations for optimum learning in the classroom is a good class control, feed back and creativity.

kolarikj | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

My one supreme rule is “meet me half way.” I respect my students, so I expect them to respect me. I put in all I have to prepare for class. I expect my students to come prepared for class. I work to learn new ways to teach, and I expect my students to try to learn new ways. I try; they try. We work as a team putting in equal effort in our roles to achieve our ultimate goal: learning.

In my classroom, the most important element is that the students have a clear idea of why they are learning what I ask them to learn. If students do not know the ultimate purpose of our assignment or project, why would they try their hardest?

Sometimes, the reason we need to learn a certain topic is simply because it is a part of the English language: it's not always easy to spice up a grammar lesson, but we, as learners and practitioners of the English language, we need to learn and obey the most nit-picky of grammatical rules.

For other assignments and projects, the purpose of our learning might be more profound. When learning about the historical significance of events in the graphic novel Maus, students are encouraged to make parallels between the events in the Holocaust and those currently transpiring in Africa.

Understanding the overall purpose behind an assignment or a project is key to student participation and engagement, and ultimately, to more thorough student learning.

kroskow | Student

I have to agree with all the other posts about respecting others and wanted to add something I've found even more crucial and that's self-respect.  I've found that students don't really understand respecting others until they learn to value themselves.  Many students have been beaten down verbally by parents and peers until they feel undeserving of any respect, even their own.  I try to point out admirable qualities in each student and remind them frequently of their own worth.


pondaluv | Student

Use common sense and listen/obey to what I say.

ssanchez1997 | Student

the number 1 rule is have respect for everyone and everything it pretty much covers every thing from not calling out to not disturbing school property

cabbey | Student

My number suggestion for creating an atmosphere condusive to learning is for the teacher to be flexible.  If the teacher will not consider each student as an individual, the students will not learn because each student is completely different from every other student in that classroom. 

kochisamsad | Student

My number one rule is to involve students in the classroom learning process through novelty in the daily lessons. I always try to make my lessons interesting and that is why I prefer activity oriented planning. It helps me in the class management also because students keep engrossed in the activity and explore the topic on their own. I just work as their facilitator.

barbaravitali | Student

A very important first rule in the classroom would be to respect each other, meaning students respecting each other as well as the teacher. This lays the foundation for all other fundamentals in the classroom. Without respect there can be chaos. With respect, students can join together with the teacher to implement other ground rules that are important to both.

holiday123 | Student

Tolerance is the number one rule in my primary classroom. Developing tolerance means that children can accept diversity, understand that the opinions and feelings of others matter as much as their own, respect difference and embrace, even celebrate it. Tolerance is the father of patience, and patience is a virtue. So is tolerance. Tolerance assists students to learn to wait rather than rush, to interrupt less often and to become and make good friends. When students can demonstrate tolerance in the classroom they can undertake activities that they might find challenging, and learn not to give up, rather they can tollerate that thing that is difficult and learn to risk take. And importantly, tolerance developed in the classroom can be practiced in places and spaces outside the classroom walls and gates, especially toward the elderly in the community. Tolerance enhances kindness, generosity and patience, all the things parents want their children to learn.


cressie14 | Student

Because I am a student myself, I think I know what makes a good teacher.

First of all, bring some humour to the classroom. It won't cost you just to tell a joke once in a while will it? You will also find that quite a lot of students feel more inclined to go your lesson.

Secondly, make the lesson fun once in a while. Everyone will feel much more happy to do the work more often if they feel they are rewarded.

Last of all, -telling students off. DONT SHOUT AT THEM! ( unless you REALLY need to) give them a warning instead. Once they have gone past that barrier, send them outside (the classroom) and give them a light, but firm reasoning. Ask them a few questions why they did it and try to be empathetic- you were a teenager once, everyone wants to talk to their friends or have a bit of fun sometimes.

florfigini | Student

I think that the most important rules are the ones that will teach students to behave in their lives, there are two basic rules in my classroom: Punctuality and Responsibility. Even though the two of them are quite related and connected, I treat them as different rules because getting back into the classroom after the break is very difficult for students adn responsibility, is a point worth to be valued as "the rule" in life.

Responsibility in terms of caring for what one does, of paying attention to what is being done, and as regards being respectful to techers and classmates in the sense that you do not respect them when you seem not to care for the assignments or classes that are presented in the classroom.

aquinn2 | Student

     I would have to say respect. Students must learn to respect authority, one another, and themselves to become responsible adults. The main form of intolerable disrespect is bullying. I teach students that this is wrong.

ksimonson | Student

I am a high school teacher for underachieving students. I earn the respect of my students....and some times it takes quite a while....so my number one rule is:

OWN YOUR LEARNING!! Too often I feel that students have NO IDEA about what they know, and what they DON'T KNOW! I am passionate about them knowing what they are good at, and what they need help in. My students need to unerstand that THEY are in charge of what they get out of my class....and school in general!! Once they can do this....everything changes in my classroom!!!

gitacheerath | Student

My rule is that the students who build the lesson. I can just help them  with different ways. In the finale stape the lesson becomes as a little blessom between their hands. when the student feels that the lesson is his own masterpeace he/she accept and undrestand it quikly and smoothly. I let my students have the notion of achievment they are able to create and the most important they will have self confidence in what they have acheived.

My rule is to first listen to instructions given in class. They get time to air their views. compromise and then begin class with total respect and understanding for one another.

Once the expectations have been achieved, go throug it one last time

cally605 | Student

My number one rule is to respect one another and the teacher. Without respect, the environment is just not conducive to learning.

passandr | Student

I have two very simple rules when I teach:


1. You must listen to and respect the teacher and your classmates when they have been called on appropriately.


2. You can expect to be listened to when you have been called on appropriately and respected at all times.

dancingqueen3346 | Student

My number one rule is to respect others - which I think should just completely rule above all others. When students respect each other, as well as me being the teacher, all of the other rules in the class seem to flow easily.  Respect can mean so many things - listening to others, acknowledging someone's ideas, cooperating with each other as a group... the list goes on and on.

zwstum01 | Student

My number one rule is keeping the classroom a safe place. This means that ideas, differences, questions, and comments are welcomed and respected. I do not allow ridicule of others needs or abilities. This ensures the classroom operates effectivelyand no students dread coming to my class.

hmccrory | Student

My number one rule is "respect everyone."  This isn't limited to respecting me or the other students, but yourself as well.  It's about creating an environment conducive to learning for all, and not being your own worst enemy by being afraid to take a risk, or short selling yourself by not performing up to your potential.

number two is be prepared... and my personal favorite is number three:  no whining :)  ha ha!  And that has more to do with the THERMOSTAT than anything else.

meganp0504 | Student

No bullying because all it does is hurt peoples feeling.I was bullied and my 11 year old sis is bullied as i got older i just wouldnt put up with it nolonger

gullehina | Student

i m a kind of fun loving girl but my first rule is to concentrate on the lectures given  by the teachers....to listen carefully to the teachers....after it if we want 2 have fun so we can have....

walker16 | Student

ok this one i can answer :D so my # one rule of the classroom would be to be resectful and be friends with all the classmates no excluding any one. the reason why i would have this rule is because i hate when the other students are always so rude to the teacher's and their classmates around them i just wish that all students were respectful to the teachers and their classmates.

kgrashot | Student

I teach Kindergarten and my #1 Rule is LOVE. Love one another, Love yourself, Love your school. In everything you do if you show your friends and those around you that you love them then our year as a family in the classroom will be filled with just that- love. As we learn this concept very early on, the students learn to take care of each other, treat each other with respect, kindness, and compassion. It's a big word that many may not hear at home enough, but they will hear it ALL day long at school!

manestein14 | Student

I must say that my number one rule in the classroom is to respect oneself, respect for others and respect for property. All other classroom rules , I believe, hinge on this very important rule.

weavera1 | Student

Practice responsibility for your own actions. If you forget your homework, it's not your mom's fault or the maid's or your locker mate. Own up to your mistakes and accept the consequences gracefully- learn from the consequence and don't make the mistake again.

mharman0816 | Student

My number one rule is that students must respect themselves, property and others.  I also believe that students must use positive language and attitude in my room.  This makes every student feel good and that their presence is valued.

angelaharris1300 | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

  I heard this a long time ago from one of my assistant principals and I liked it.  He said that his number one rule was that nothing was going to keep him from teaching his class.  This, of course, is directed toward classroom discipline.  One cannot teach without having control of his or her class.  Another rule is to really listen to what students are saying.  This is a part of respect.  Students know when you care about them.  They respond to you in a like manner.

jamesbaquet | Student

My rule can be expressed in one word: "Participate." I teach in China, though, so I generally state it this way: "Do what we are doing."

This covers a multitude of sins: We are here, so don't be absent. We start at X:XX, so don't be late. We are doing pair work in English, so don't speak Chinese. We are learning English, so don't use your cell phone to send an SMS (text). We have books, so bring yours. We are NOT sleeping. And so on.

ESL requires students to be active rather than passive learners. But I think this one principle can be useful in other types of classes. We are not disrupting the class, so you don't; we are not going to the toilet, so wait until break; on and on and on.

A positive use of peer pressure!

mathteach01 | Student

Respect seems to be a common trend here and I agree.  Even when talking to students to get their reactions on their past schooling experience, what they like and what they don't like, I use interest inventories to find this kind of stuff out.  It seems that they really hate when teachers yell at them and so we hold a discussion about how to not get teachers to that point.  Or rather that the respect has to be mutual, all ideas have to be heard, as rediculous as some might be.  Over the years I have incorporated some of their ideas into my classroom, like running lotteries and doing games.  My exceptions are that they have to be educational in some way or form.  Bringing the control back to me, so my students do not think that they have the run of the classroom.  I also allow my students to create their classroom rules at the beginning of the year.  They then sign it like a contract and I always remind them throughout the year that it becomes an official document when they do that and they should rise to their expectations.

zachmack | Student

Speak English, Go Global!

picturesque | Student

And i think encouragement of students is an exellent rule to make them put full efforts put into their studies.

bfstegall | Student

My number one rule in my classroom is "Don't walk in front of the SmartBoard."  I call it my number one because I find myself saying it many many times during the day.  This rule is important because the SmartBoard hangs on the wall and the space between it and the first student table is narrow.  Bumping into the SmartBoard throws the alignment off and loosens the screws that holds it to the wall.

picturesque | Student

My number 1 rule in the classroom is to make the students take interest in the studies. And to have a full command over your subject.

rhonda3035 | Student

Whether the classroom is elementary or college level, students will respect a teacher who respects them.  I believe teachers earn the respect of their students by respecting them first.  In the first week of school, I explain this principle to students and find opportunities to express why I respect what a student does verbally.  Students not only respond with respect for the teacher, but also see this as a standard and expectation for peers as well.

mrstiggerf | Student

"If you don't know what to do, ask questions."   This keeps people safe and enables us all to learn together.  I learn as much from my students as they learn from me.

spark73 | Student

Respect themself, others, and the world....

We always spend a lot of time on learning style, ethnicity, interests, opinions. It is a hard rule to introduce to young children as they often are egocentric still.  However I teach explicitly the different learning styles so each student can find his/her own strength to use during the year. Once the students see that everyone has strengths we build on that into a year of respect for themself, others, and the world.

laniemay | Student

My number one rule would be to be respectful at all times to all people. When my students show respect to themselves, their fellow classmates, and me, my classroom functions as close to perfectly as possible.

Respect for themselves covers the idea of doing their best on every assignment. It also covers things like wardrobe and grooming.

Respecting their classmates means that they don't disrupt class. Period. I tell them that even if they don't respect themselves enough to do the work, they must respect that others want to.

The final part of the rule, respect for me, is not the most important part of it. However, by respecting me, the other two parts of the rule will naturally fall into place.

I suppose you can look at the three parts as feeding off of one another. If they follow one, then the rest seem to come more easily.

cb1989 | Student

Listen to everyone. It's amazing how we learn something new from someone everyday. Our brain is such an incredible receptor of info, but learn to categorize so that it is always useful for you to use whenever needed.

pete1875 | Student

My number ONE rule for my students is to always try.  If students aren't trying then really nothing can be learned.  Just give your best effort and some type of learning will happen.

How do I motivate students to try? At the start of the school year I have every student write up specific and measurable goals.  Anything that has to do with academics, like grades and attendance, etc. Then we periodically review the goals and update them.  Students are much more motivated when they are shooting for a specific thing.

magec5 | Student

Aretha Franklin said it best....R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  Respect the boundaries set by the community, school, and classroom.  Respect your property and the property of others.  Respect others in the classroom, the school, and the world.  Respect me as your authority, and trust me; I will not abuse your respect.  Most of all, respect ourself enough to do your best.  You deserve nothing less than your best.

npoore84 | Student

My number one rule in my classroom is respect. There not only needs to be respect for the teacher/authority in the classroom but there needs to be respect for every single person who steps foot in my classroom. My students are allowed to make comments on the lesson as long as they are not prejudicial, bigamist, or racial comments. They need to respect all people in my classroom. They also need to respect those that give the comments. No matter how off the comment may be, they are not allowed to make rude comments, laugh, snicker, or be rude to those giving these comments. By having this rule in my classroom, students feel comfortable making comments and speaking up in class.

marialobo | Student

Everyone in my classroom, be it a child or an adult should exercise classroom discipline, and a high respect for teachers. A friendly atmosphere is very conducive for teaching as well as learning. I would encourage a two- way rapport between me and my students for that makes lively teaching. However, raucous behavior and a loud indisciplined expression of ideas/answers is a definite NO.

desousam | Student

My number one rule is respect one another. On the first day of school I emphasize this rule. Without respect there will be chaos. I explain to the students that this rule as well asall my rules pertains to the teacher as well. There must be a mutual respect between the teacher and the students for everyone to be successful. In my classroom we discuss examples and nonexamples of respect. Additionally, we mention ways that all of can show respect on a daily basis. Saying something so simple as please and thank you can mean a lot. I think when this rule is emphasized at the begining ofthe year it creates classroom climate where everyone can be successful.

staysi58 | Student

My #1 rule is "Respect others, as well as yourself."  I find that this rule provides an atmosphere conducive to learning--your have to respect other people's ideas, and you need to respect yourself enough to share your ideas with others.

leaken42 | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

Optimum learning starts with watching and listening.  You as an educator model and set example, then your students watch and learn by repeating what you have done and listen to what you have said. Then you and your students practice what you have watched and listened to.  This is the very basics to learning.

leaken42 | Student

Have a sense of humor--this is a rule for me and my students.  I teach high school juniors and seniors, and it is imperative that I can laugh at myself and that my students can do so too.  This is not to say that my classroom is full of raucous laughter, but it creates an environment where students are not afraid to make mistakes and where I'm not afraid to admit that I don't know all the answers to life's problems.

Never be afraid to laugh.  If your students realize that you can laugh at yourself, then they will not be afraid to make strides to learn. I had an administrator tell me once that my students felt safe in my class. I think a lot of that was that I exppected my students to respect me and to respect each other. They also knew that we could have fun and learn too. This is important for any age student.

centrist | Student

My primary assumptions as a teacher follow the Aristotelian principle combined with philosopher Bertrand Russell’s instruction to the teacher.

One does not teach by lecturing alone, and cannot be effective unless she has genuine affection for her students and a sincere desire to encourage their curiosity and wonder.

Teaching takes place only when the student is involved in the learned subject and aware of his or her responsibility for understanding.

I see the role of the teacher as a mediator between the student and the learned material. And like any effective mediator, I try to use the student’s natural momentum of curiosity and interest in order to coax him or her into becoming more engaged with the enquiry underway.

jerkman | Student

my number one rule would be enoy life because you only live it once

jespearce | Student

My number one rule in the classroom is hands off! I teach in an urban school where students often like to solve their problems by fighting. I have a no-touch policy to stop this. This allows the students to focus on learning and not have to worry about who is going to beat them up. If a child touches another child in any way then it is an automatic referral.

iteacher | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

 Like others have stated, mine is respect.  All the 'rules' really center on this best listening, raise your hand, ...

doremi9642 | Student

I teach elementary music, and therefore see over 500 students per week.  I have only 4 rules for my classroom.   Use good manners,  Pay attention, Follow directions, and Do your best.  I try not to be too detailed in my rules, but rather to have general principals that cover just about any situation that could arise.  We frequently review the rules and what they mean.  If there should be an infraction I can refer the student to, say, rule 4...refusal to participate is not the best that you can do, or rule 1...not keeping your hands and feet to yourself is not good manners and disturbs others.

kathlit | Student

R.E.P.: Respect, Effort, and Pride

Have respect for yourself, your teacher, and your peers; this means valuing all contributions to classroom discussion and the individuality of others around you.

Any work submissions should reflect the effort you put into them. Submitted assignments should be completed in full, on time, and to the best of your ability. Effort also includes a positive attitude and approach toward the class.

Take pride in your background, your work, and your high school. There is only one you and this is your highschool career--make it count!

cstein1979 | Student

Oh boy, one rule....

I always tell them, Rule One is to keep the teacher happy and Rule Two is to see Rule One...but seriously, I teach 11th and 12th graders and I tell them that if they aren't familiar with school rules by now, they have a bigger problem than either of us can solve in nine months!

SO, that being said...we go through the usual: be on time, prepared for class, have your supplies, blah, blah, blah....but it all really does go back to what I said at the beginning - do what is expected of you in the classroom and we will be just fine.

rocasian | Student

I think that the first rule in the classroom is being serious, establish some rules at  the begginning of the year and the punishements, respect children, let them understand you can joke but there have to be a limit and in the same time be consecvent in your requests.

helpertouch | Student

I live by the old adage, "Be kind; work hard."

Of course there are plenty of subgroups to these. In my art class, "be kind" applies to the usual things (no bullying, help others, clean up your mess, but it also means not to touch anyone else's work without permission, and it means to follow my lead: say nice stuff, not mean stuff. "Work hard," in addition to the usual understanding, also means "NO Whining" when hard stuff presents itself.

msturlic | Student

My primary rule is to be respectful.  A student can express any opinion they may have as long as they do the following:

1. Express it respectfully-- no rude language

2. Allow others to express their opinions

3. Be able to explain your reasoning behind your opinion

historyteacher | Student

The number one rule in my class is that everybody must work. No sleeping, idle chatter, or non-participation is allowed. I remind my students that future employers do not tolerate gold bricking and neither am I. This philosophy has worked well for me, sixth year teacher, and it cuts down on misbehavior in the class. Btw I work at an alternative school.

julynnt | Student

My number one rule in my classroom is that students listen.  I use a poster that notes listen and silence are spelled with the same letters.  They need to not only listen to me but to each other.  I begin the year with this concept.  If someone is talking and another classmate talks at the same time, I stop the speaker and we wait until it is quiet.  I often ask students to rephrase what one of their classmates has just stated.  Listening seems to be the core of all learning.  Students don't learn or produce effective ideas if they don't learn to listen to directions or to each other.

mslane | Student

For me,  my number one rule is that we are kind to others. This is a premise that we as teachers need to enforce in this social networking society. Students and the rest of us need to realize that there are others around us and they have needs as well. We have to respect other people's space, privacy and needs. We are losing the art of interacting with each other.

mdaddona | Student

My number one rule is RESPECT in the classroom. I want to create a safe place to learn. I want my students to have the confidence to take chances during class discussions. Therefore I think that respect is very important.

lcp | Student

Over my years of teaching in all secondary level classes, two "rules" have emerged as the most important: safety and courtesy. Safety is easy to teach and implement. Courtesy takes more time to first define and then to practice. For example, it is a safety concern when students are asked to keep their book bags (a new problem) at the back of the room, so other students, or I, don't trip over them. To teach how this is also a matter of courtesy is more difficult. I help students understand that anytime something they might do in public, like distract their neighboring student or the teacher by getting into their "stuff," a kind of rudeness has occurred. If 30 other students are doing this same activity, it is too hard to manage the atmosphere of the classroom. Eventually, students understand.

lsliger | Student

I keep a very simple set of rules.  Respect yourself.  Respect others.  Respect property.  l believe that in order to be able to respect others, you have to be able to respect yourself first.  Then, you can work on respecting others and property.  In the first few days at school, I spend time making a contract with my students that lists ways that we should show respect.  We discuss how and why we should show respect.  I give examples to the students through role play, videos, and short stories.  It is very important to not only know my expectations, but what those expectations look like.  I feel that spending time talking to the students about what I expect and what they expect helps us to start out with a good student/teacher relationship.  If I am going too ask the students for respect, then I should respect them.  I try to show them that from the start by discussing with them how they expect to be treated by me and what they would like to learn from me.

smartygauri | Student

My rule is :

Study and be active not only while studies but also while chattering away with your friends and doing some sought of pranks on the dumbest classmate!


hollam79 | Student

Like many people have already mentioned, Respecting yourself and others with your words and actions.  would be my first and foremost rule in the classroom.  I always give examples to make sure students know what respect looks and sounds like.  Everyone has different ideas about what respect is, so examples are good way to get the ball rolling. 

Also, I like letting my students know that we are all learners in the classroom (even the teacher), so we never put others down for things we are learning about. 

carolynrowe | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

  The modeling and teaching boundaries is my optimum classroom "rule."  This issue can arrive in physical, social, and psychological contexts.  It exists both between the students themselves as well as between student and teacher.  Understanding boundaries, at whichever level is in play, sets the stage for respect, compassion and a learning environment.  Once there is an understanding of boundaries, disciplinary action is rarely required.  Instead of correcting behavior, identifying a boundary infringement keeps everyone accountable and nobody in detention.

dhpraiser | Student
What is your number ONE rule in the classroom and why?

If you could summarize all your expectations for optimum learning in your classroom, what would it be and why?

The ONE expectation that I feel covers it all is RESPECT! This includes respect for yourself as well as for others. This respect is what builds the classroom atmosphere of a team and respecting what each person brings to that environment.

Now, if we could have that respect among the teaching staff as well, instead of the attitude of competition that is so prevalent, then that would be awesome!--a truly Professional Learning Community!

draporter92 | Student

My number one rule in the classroom is that we all are in "it" together and that we all learn from one another.  That means that everyone listens and pays attention to what one person has to say because we probably can learn something from that person.  I, as a teacher, enjoy functioning as a facilitator, even at the middle school level, because I have a belief that every human being contributes to the collective whole, so if someone has something to say, there is a lesson somewhere there.

I believe in teamwork, collaboration, and the collective whole.  Thus learning comes for all of us in some form collectively working together to make each one of us better.

dakotateacher | Student

Respect is my number one rule in the classroom.  Everyone brings insight into discussions with their experiences and I find that by not listening to others people do not expand themselves.  Too often comments that are not appropriate are due to lack of experience or knowledge on the subject and to not display any insecurity in the area, they need to mock, ridicule or disrespect the speaker(s).

I work on keeping an open classroom so everyone's learns academically and socially.

jayanthy | Student

I believe in the dictim "give respect get respect" so i respect the students and i do insist on the same, it goes without saying and they know what to expect something is not done. another important aspect is punctuality in their work. I let them have the idea everything can be achieved through hard work and punctuality which is very necessary in today's context. Everything else will fall into its own place when one knows his limits.

astjohn38 | Student

The biggest rule I have is to respect yourself and others.  I feel this is so important in this day in age.  Our students have low respect for themselves and others. It is important to have this before they go out in the real world.

dawnlemieux14 | Student

The number one rule in my learning space is to respect one another. At the beginning of the school year the students and I create the classroom expectations together. Each year I find that the students place the most value in this rule because it encompasses so many others within it. When a student breaks this rule, either by interupting or misusing materials, the others can call them on it by saying "Norm" - as in, you are breaking the normal expectations of our classroom. When students come up with the "rules" or expectations, they belong to them and not the teacher. This sense of ownership over our space results in less management issues.

fuchsiadreams | Student

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me!

I like to establish the class rules with the class at the beginning of the school year. Invariably the students and I will cite respect as an integral part of a fully functional and highly successful classroom. We discuss what that means: respecting the opinions of others; respecting others by listening rather than speaking when they speak; respecting the rights of another person to learning... and many others.

When you let the students be part of the decision-making process in terms of class rules and values, they take those rules and values more to heart. Plus they haven't a leg to stand on when they break the rules if they made them!

Hope that helps.


nissou | Student

My rule is that the students who build the lesson. I can just help them  with different ways. In the finale stape the lesson becomes as a little blessom between their hands. when the student feels that the lesson is his own masterpeace he/she accept and undrestand it quikly and smoothly. I let my students have the notion of achievment they are able to create and the most important they will have self confidence in what they have acheived.

vallance72 | Student

My number one rule for my classroom, as an elementary teacher, is respect one another and the teacher.  Also, at the beginning of the year, I give specific examples of this rule to ensure that students know what being respectful "looks like" on a daily basis.  For instance, I have students model using polite language in role playing activities, as well as keeping their academic materials, personal items, and hands at an appropriate distance from other students.  Spending time on being respectful, I find, truly has a positive impact on the dynamics of the entire classroom.