Making rules for your classroom will depend on your own expectations and style of teaching. Though many teachers choose to work with their students to form a list of class rules, safety is an area that requires teacher control. Before you decide on which rules to use look around your classroom and consider possible hazards that need to be addressed.
Be Responsible For Your Own Actions and Words
Teaching students what it means to be responsible can take time. To teach this rule, have your students perform skits to give examples of being responsible and irresponsible. Explain to the class that most of the time when people are irresponsible it is because they are forgetting that their actions affect the people around them.
Be Respectful to Teachers and Other Students
Disrespecting teachers and students may lead to conflict and an unsafe environment. When discussing the rules, ask your students to share experiences when they have felt respected and disrespected. Talk about what type of environment your students want in their classroom, so that they feel a consensus about how they will treat one another.
Listen Carefully to Instructions
Some teachers choose to include listening in their rule about respect. When making a list of safety rules, it may be wise to list it specifically because not paying attention can lead to unsafe situations. To teach this rule, try practicing following instructions by playing a game of Simon Says. Remind students that they need to listen when you are giving instructions just like they listen carefully in the game.
Know Emergency Procedures
Even though teachers need to be responsible for getting their class out of the building in the even of an emergency, teach your students to be accountable by knowing what to do in the event of a natural disaster or an emergency. Have the fire exit route posted on a map in the room and review it with your students regularly.
Tell an adult If You Feel Unsafe
Many students do not understand the difference between tattling and telling an adult when they feel unsafe. Explain that teachers do not like when people tattle, because sometimes students do not take responsibility for small problems that they should know how to handle themselves, but that if a student ever feels unsafe or scared at school, they need to tell and adult so that the adult can help them with the problem.
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