For many students (and teachers), the idea of classroom rules feels restrictive, stifling, and sometimes just downright unfair. It might be a little difficult to balance the need for structure with the desire to build a collaborative, fun environment for learning.

But classroom rules for students are required to maintain proper classroom management techniques that guide student learning and set expectations for the students in the classroom. When structured classroom rules for students are set, it leads to building a positive learning environment where students have the opportunity to explore and learn.

What are ‘Classroom Rules for Students?’

For every teacher, classroom rules may vary. Make rules that work best for you. Some teachers use many whereas some don’t like to use any. It totally depends on the individual.

Here are some classroom rules for students that can be used by those who want to start this journey. Let’s go:

  1. Ask questions
  2. Respect your classmates
  3. Respect and listen to the teacher
  4. Raise your hand to speak
  5. Share new ideas
  6. Respect others’ property
  7. Keep your workspace tidy
  8. Be kind
  9. Always do your best
  10. Be a good friend
  11. Be on time
  12. Obey all school rules
  13. Have a good attitude
  14. Use positive language
  15. Line up neatly and quietly
  16. Stay in your seat
  17. Listen with your ears and your eyes
  18. Contribute to discussions
  19. Be respectful of others’ ideas
  20. Cooperate with your classmates
  21. Be creative
  22. Be honest
  23. Be proud of your work

The above classroom rules for students are just some of many that you can use to maintain decorum in the class. It is easy to write down specific rules and put them up on the wall. However, it is difficult to make the students follow them irrespective of their age or class. Hence, it becomes important that you follow specific guidelines through which the students will follow the classroom rules smoothly and without any problem.

How to Build Classroom Rules for Students?

  1. Build the foundation:

    The prime reason to make classroom rules for students is to make them feel like a community where they are trusted, valued, and respected. All of this eventually results in improved students’ performance academically, respectful discussions, inculcating a growth mindset, etc, to name a few. Classroom rules for students should help them establish classroom values. To set up the classroom rules for students, look at the big picture: what should be the core values on which you and your students should interact? Taking the big-picture rules like self-respect, passion, etc., create smaller, more actionable ones. Emphasize that the rules are set to make their learning easy and fun and make the classroom a safe and supportive environment for all students. 
  2. Involve students in creating classroom rules:

    Present the core values you want to see in your classroom to your class. Let students brainstorm, discuss with each other, and list behaviors that model key principles. After brainstorming, list down the final rules as a group. It’s good to include students in the rule-making process, however, it’s important to remember that the final say stays with you. Students are more likely to accept and respect your authority when you explain and collaborate on the rules.

  3. Effective display of classroom rules for students:

    Having to see a long, black-and-white list of classroom rules is so boring, don’t you agree? To make students understand the rules in an engaging way so that the creativity flows on the first day of school is where you have to focus on. Ask them to demonstrate the rules in a fun way, they can do a small skit too. Doing a small presentation by them actually helps the students remember the rules and uphold them throughout the session.

  4. Be specific:

    Students might not realize it but they, automatically, actually thrive and succeed academically in an environment with clear rules and boundaries. Everyday classroom rules for students should be clear and specific, with little room for creative interpretation or manipulation.
  5. Be clear on consequences:

    The two important aspects of any classroom are Routine and Structure and as a teacher, you have to be consistent in applying the rules – no playing favorites or backing down on the consequences. Be clear from the beginning on what the consequences are for breaking the rules.

  6. Be respectful towards the rules yourself: 

    Last but definitely not least, students won’t respect and follow the rules if you don’t. Remind the students time and again about the consequences if they break a rule and never forget to follow the rules yourself.

Some Quick Tips to Promote Community and Learning:

  • Don’t be unnecessarily rude or strict with the students.
  • Praise publicly, reprimand privately.
  • Be clear about how your consequences fit into your overall classroom rules.

Final Thoughts

Children come to school to learn and have fun in the meantime. Classroom rules are required so that the child understands when to stop the fun and be serious. Some might need structure and clearly defined boundaries, while others respond positively to more freedom. Use your classroom as you want to, continuously communicate the rules and uphold them as necessary to find what works best for your classroom. It will not be possible to respond to every need or problem equally on some days. And that’s completely okay. Just do your best, and make sure that your students know that you want to see them succeed – that’s what matters in the end eventually.