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?

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trophyhunter1's profile pic

trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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!

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peiqianlong | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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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?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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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.

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tolchowy | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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mitchrich4199 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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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.

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terryhi | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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jashley80 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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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?).

 

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acordes | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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rskardal | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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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.

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mishukitty | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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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.

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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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.

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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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.

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