37 Classroom Rules for Student SuccessClassroom rules
Classroom rules look different for every teacher. Some use only a few, while others prefer to use more. Here are 37 rules to get you started on building your own:
- Ask questions
- Respect and listen to your classmates
- Respect and listen to the teacher
- Raise your hand to speak
- Be prepared for class
- Be quiet when the teacher is talking
- Be quiet when classmates are talking
- Share new ideas
- Keep your hands to yourself
- Respect others’ property
- Keep your workspace tidy
- Be kind
- Always do your best
- Walk, don’t run, in the hallways
- Be a good friend
- Be on time
- Share with others
- Use equipment properly
- Help keep the classroom tidy
- Listen to all the teachers
- Obey all school rules
- Finish your homework on time
- Be respectful of classmates who are working
- Have a good attitude
- Use positive language
- Follow the dress code
- Line up neatly and quietly
- Stay in your seat
- Listen with your ears and your eyes
- Contribute to discussions
- Be respectful of others’ ideas
- Follow the teacher’s directions the first time they are given
- Cooperate with your classmates
- Be creative
- Be honest
- Use technology appropriately
- Be proud of your work
Want to keep these rules close by? We’ve put together a downloadable PDF with all these rules that you can use in your classroom today!How to create classroom rulesBuild the foundation
There are so many benefits to building a classroom that feels like a community:
improved student academics, respectful discussions, and a growth mindset are just a few. Classroom rules can help establish a sense of community when they’re built on collective classroom values.
Start with the big picture: what core values should inform the way you and your students interact? Values like self-respect, positivity, encouragement and passion are all great places to start.
Take those big-picture rules and use them to create smaller, more actionable ones.If you want to promote respect in your classroom, create rules that ask students to use positive language, respect their classmates’ property and keep their hands to themselves.
Emphasize that rules are in place to guide student learning. Communicate to students that classroom rules make the classroom a safe and supportive environment for all students.Get students involved in creating classroom rules
Take the core values you want to see in your classroom and present them to your class. Let students extrapolate and list behaviors that model key principles. Challenge them to think about what each looks like in the classroom and to develop specific scenarios that act out the rules they’ve brainstormed.
After brainstorming, develop a final list of rules as a group. Which ones do students think are the most important? If they disagree with a rule, ask them to explain why. Discuss with them why the rule was made and how you can adjust it to the specific needs of the class.
While it’s good to include students in the rule-making process, it’s also important to remember that the final say on what goes stays with you. When you explain and collaborate on the rules, students are more likely to accept and respect your authority.Display classroom rules creatively
The only thing more boring for your students than a long, black-and-white list of rules nailed to the wall on the first day of school is listening to you read off the list as they sit in their desks and wish they were still on summer vacation.
Present classroom rules in an engaging way to get creativity flowing on the first day of school. Ask students to help make classroom rules posters or short skits that creatively demonstrate the rules for the rest of the class. When students are involved with presenting the rules, they’re more likely to remember and uphold them.Be specific
Students, whether they realize it or not, thrive and succeed academically in an environment with clear rules and boundaries. General rules and classroom principles are a great place to start, but everyday rules should be clear and specific, with little room for creative interpretation or manipulation.
If you choose to make rules with your students, ask them to go deeper than general ideas. Have them consider what rules look like in practice, and what the consequences for breaking certain rules should be.Be clear on consequences
Routine and structure are important aspects of any classroom, and as a teacher you have to be consistent in how you apply the rules — no playing favorites or backing down on the consequences. Students won’t respect and follow the rules if you don’t.
Be clear from the beginning on what the consequences are for breaking the rules. Consider a “fix what you broke” approach that asks the student to make amends for their behavior through actions or words, or set time-outs and temporary losses of privilege. Certain infractions are more serious than others (i.e. violence vs. speaking out of turn), so be prepared to respond appropriately.
Some quick tips to promote community and learning:
- Don’t be unnecessarily heavy-handed or look to embarrass students in front of the class
- Praise publicly, reprimand privately
- Always be able to explain how your consequences fit into your overall classroom rules
While most teachers lay out consequences for misbehavior, consider also identifying areas where students can earn rewards. Positive reinforcement is a useful technique. Make sure to praise students for acting appropriately, and consider giving small rewards to students who exceed expectations.
Rewards can include stickers, a chance to be a “line leader” for the day, or even extra time on a fun, educational game like Prodigy.
Prodigy is a free, engaging math game that challenges students to go on adventures, collect pets and play with friends — all while answering curriculum-aligned math questions.
Use Prodigy to track student understanding, practice lesson material and prepare for standardized testing.Create my free teacher account nowGet parent buy-in
Parent involvement is the best indicator of student success — a principle that extends beyond academic involvement. Parents need to understand and align themselves with expectations for classroom behavior.
Keep in touch with parents and send home a letter at the beginning of the school year that details the classroom rules that you and your class have agreed on.
Consider taking a few moments from a parent evening to go over student expectations or ask for feedback on what values parents think classroom rules should uphold. Communication and collaboration with parents means more student success and fewer surprises during the school year.Collaborate with your colleagues
Your colleagues are one of your biggest assets when it comes to establishing clear rules. Students often have more than one teacher throughout the school day, and communicating a consistent set of classroom rules can help reinforce student expectations.
Collaborating with other teachers is also a good way to make sure that your rules are in line with school culture. If the classroom is out of step with what the rest of the school is doing, students can get confused and start to act out. Speak with a supervisor or trusted colleague if you have any questions, and take their advice seriously.How to uphold classroom rules
For many teachers, student discipline is a difficult subject to discuss. If every classroom needs rules, then it stands to reason that breaking the rules should come with appropriate consequences.
In any classroom, broken rules mean wasted teaching time and emotional exhaustion for teachers. In one study about classroom discipline, researchers noted that:
“The ultimate goal of classroom order is to enable instruction. Classroom order is not a goal in itself, nor is it a way to correct classroom disruption. Effective teachers have fewer classroom disciplinary problems not because they are good at restoring discipline, but because they are good at establishing classroom procedures that maximize time available for instruction.”
With that in mind, here are some tips for making sure student discipline, when necessary, is used as a way to get back to what your students are really there for: learning!Collaborate with your students — again
While you’re making the rules, consider making the consequences as well. In order for students to respect the rules, they have to realize what’s going to happen when they break them. Give students hypothetical situations, and ask them to develop consequences based on shared classroom values.
Even if you decide to make the consequences on you own, don’t think that being unnecessarily harsh will earn you respect. If you truly want to build an efficient and positive learning environment, you should always keep the best interests of your students in mind.
Be able to explain consequences when students ask. Take circumstance into account — an unusually egregious offence needs to be escalated more quickly than a small classroom disturbance. Apply the rules consistently so students learn the value of responsibility.Continue to reinforce classroom rules
If you want students to listen to classroom rules all year round, make sure you’ve reinforced them throughout the school year.If rules are continually taught, students have less of an excuse for misbehavior. In her Cooperative Discipline Model, teaching specialist Linda Albert recommends that:
“The behaviors calls for must be taught, not taken for granted, and the code should be discussed regularly. This keeps it in the foreground for reminding students and for use when correcting misbehavior. When serious violations of the code occur, procedures of conflict resolution are applied. All the while, the teacher makes ongoing efforts to help students feel capable, connected with others, and contributors to the class and elsewhere.”
If students are aware of the rules and know you take them seriously, they’ll be more likely to respect them.Balance discipline with compassion
Albert also theorizes that misbehavior is merely students trying to achieve “mistaken goals,” including revenge, attention-seeking or assumed disability. She encourages teachers to reframe this as an opportunity to build a positive relationship with students.
While discipline is a way to encourage a safe and positive working environment for all students, it’s important to remember students are also learning how to function as responsible and effective members of society. Difficult home situations, mental health issues and challenging social situations are all factors that can cause students to act out.
While none of these factors excuse bad behavior, it’s worth checking in with a chronically misbehaving student to see if you can address any underlying factors. Work with administrators, support staff and parents to develop a response to intervention plan for students who might be struggling in the classroom, or guide students to resources that can help them succeed both personally and academically.Final thoughts on classroom rules
Each teacher uses their classroom rules differently, because each class is different. Some students might need structure and clearly defined boundaries, while others respond positively to more freedom. Encourage student buy-in, continuously communicate the rules and uphold them as necessary to find what works best for your classroom.
Long days and large classes can make it difficult to respond to every need or problem equally. Do your best, and make sure that your students know that you want to see them succeed — that’s what matters the most.
Create or log in to your teacher account on Prodigy – a free, game-based learning platform for math that’s easy to use for educators and students alike. Aligned with curricula across the English-speaking world, it’s loved by more than a million teachers and 90 million students.Create my free teacher account now!
47 Best Classroom Rules for Middle & High School (2021)
Classroom rules are important for all ages – even middle school and high school students. Start your school year or even your lessons with a discussion of the ground rules.
By setting the ground rules at the start, you’ll be setting the tone for the rest of your time with your students.
How to Write Class Rules
Two effective teaching strategies to remember when setting rules for middle school and high school students are:
- Make rules that say what to do rather than what not to do.
- Start every rule with an action word (verb).
Read Also: 13 Effective Classroom Management Theories
Best Classroom Rules for Middle School
1 – 5:
- Respect other people’s boundaries (aka Keep your hands to yourself).
- Swearing is unacceptable.
- Enter the classroom ready to learn.
- Use an inside voice (aka No yelling!)
- Ask for permission before using the restroom.
6 – 10:
- Raise your hand if you would like to speak.
- Wait for others to finish speaking before you speak (aka No interrupting).
- Listen actively by making eye contact and asking relevant questions of the speaker.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Respect your classroom. Clean and tidy classrooms make your learning experience better (aka No Vandalism!)
11 – 15:
- See if you can help yourself before asking someone else.
- Care for your own equipment.
Ask for permission to use others’ equipment.
- Theft is unacceptable (aka Do not steal!)
- Use a respectful tone and manners at all times (aka Don’t be Snarky)
16 – 20:
- Play by the rules. If you don’t, you’re only cheating yourself (aka Don’t cheat).
- Respect your body. You’ll need it for many decades to come.
- Know when to speak. You have a valued contribution to make to the class.
- Know when not to speak. Others have a valued contribution to make, too. Give them space to speak.
- Shower every day. No one wants to smell your B.O. when they’re trying to study.
21 – 26:
- Do homework daily. You’ll thank yourself in 10 years time!
- Think about people in more need than you. If someone appears lonely, sad or in need of help, it’s your responsibility to be by their side.
- Walk around the classroom … don’t run! When you walk, you’re less likely to damage things.
- Admit your mistakes. You’re not perfect and admitting when you’re wrong is a respectable thing to do.
- Stop and look to your teacher when the teacher asks. Your teacher’s here to help you!
- Check and edit your work before sending it to the teacher.
Best Classroom Rules for High School
27 – 31:
- Act as a role model for your peers and for younger students.
- Seek meaning in everything you do. Make sure you life a meaningful life.
- Apply what you learn in class to your life outside.
- Come to class because you want to. At this age, you don’t have to be here.
- Call out bad behavior. It’s your classroom and your job to set the tone you want.
32 – 36:
- Challenge one another with respect.
- Be ready to have your mind changed by someone else’s ideas.
- Be generous with praise and kindness for your friends and colleagues.
- Turn up on time. Being on time shows respect for your learning and your peers.
- Organize what you need for class the night before. You’re almost an adult … it’s time to get organized!
Inspiring and Uplifting Class Rules
37 – 41:
- Set yourself high expectations every day.
Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll make it to the stars.
- Take risks in order to achieve great things.
- Play together because play is the highest form of learning!
- Visualize what or who you want to be and strive for your ideal.
- Believe in yourself and your friends. You are the future of the world.
42 – 47:
- Make someone smile today.
- Be humble in success and proud in failure. Humble winners are willing to take constructive feedback. Proud losers hold their head high for having a go.
- Stand up for each other and stand against bullies.
- Set yourself a goal for today.
- Get involved. The world is changed by those who show up.
- Be your true self. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
How to Enforce the Rules
If students disregard or disrespect the rules, a teacher needs to take control and make sure they know the standards must be maintained.
Try the Assertive Discipline Theory approach, which argues that teachers should use a discipline hierarchy:
- The first time a student breaks the rules, they get a reprimand.
- The second time a student breaks the rules, they get a punishment.
- The third time a student breaks the rules, it’s escalated to parents and school management.
The trick is to follow-thought thoroughly on these steps so students know you’re serious.
Read Also: 23 Great School Ant-bullying Policies
An alternative (and perhaps better) way to go about writing class rules is to do it democratically.
Get your class together and ask them what rules they want to see in their classroom. I’ve found that young people are surprisingly conservative about the rules.
By getting students to come up with the rules together, they are setting their own personal standards. It makes them more accountable not only to yourself as the teacher, but also themselves.
Classroom rules are necessary for learning to occur. When students misbehave, they are disrespecting their peers. Everyone in the class has the right to learn. If a student interrupts other students who are trying to learn, that needs to be stopped.
However, a teacher also needs to have positive regard for all students and see their potential … even the ones who play up. Work with misbehaving students to make sure they are having their needs met and they feel comfortable and safe in the classroom. As the humanist theory states, most misbehavior has a cause: as teachers, it’s our job to identify the cause of that misbehavior and try to address it so the student can succeed in class.
One thing a teacher needs to consider is their teaching: are you encouraging passive learning or active learning? An active, constructive classroom may significantly decrease instances of misbehavior.
Best Classroom Rules for High School
For both teenagers and the adults responsible for the development of teens, high school is a tough time. Rules are an important feature of any classroom, especially when you’re dealing with students from high school. Teenagers can be quickly confused by their budding hormones and complicated social lives, and while many are experienced and extremely competent, they can also benefit from structure and rules. The rules of the classroom provide instructions that allow students to realize what is expected of them. Ideally, for all the learners to see, they should be quick, easy to follow, and placed somewhere that is visible. Keeping them general enough to encompass a range of circumstances, but also unique to your students, classroom, and education is one of the keys to writing productive classroom rules.
The framework and guidance required to build a positive learning atmosphere are established by classroom rules. You can create a collection of rules for the classroom yourself or ask the students for feedback and work together to make a list of rules. It is ideal to go over the rules in class with the students at the beginning of each academic year or semester, leaving time for questions and discussion. When they grasp the intent behind them, students are more likely to obey the rules; rules that appear excessive or pointless are more likely to be forgotten. For this reason, it is important to clarify why you have created these rules and how they can help build an effective, well-run classroom.
Routine and order are important facets of every school, and you need to be clear as an instructor with how you apply the rules, without playing favourites or backing down on the consequences. If you don’t, students won’t respect and obey the rules. Although most teachers recognize implications for wrongdoing, think considering identifying areas where students can receive awards. A useful strategy is positive reinforcement. Be sure to thank students for behaving correctly, and recommend awarding students who meet standards small prizes.
There are a series of alternative ways to build a list of rules for the classroom. You should do it all on your own, setting the rules as you see fit. Another approach is to invite your students’ suggestions; you may also make them vote on which rules they favour. The advantage of this strategy is that it helps you to think more about what type of classroom atmosphere your students want.
You will help the students get the best out of their high school years by setting out these top rules! Hope you enjoy reading the list.1. Arrive On Time
Everyone has to be on schedule and ready to start class in order to keep the classroom running smoothly. Students outside the door and running in would be deemed tardy after the bell has started to toll. When the bell rings to be counted to be present, you must be in your seat. Punctuality, right from school days, is one of the best attributes to be developed. Establish a schedule before the bell rings to enter school and be seated in your classroom spot before the warning bell.2. Turn Off Cell Phones And Electronic Devices
Cell phones and other mobile gadgets, such as mp3 players, tablets, need to be switched off while class is in session. They will be seized if they are not switched off.3. No Food Or Drinks
Lunchtime and recess in classes should be reserved for eating and drinking. For students with medical conditions, though, exceptions can be made.4. Attend To Personal Needs Before Class
To avoid causing inconvenience to your fellow classmates, use the bathroom or stop at your locker before class. Hall passes are restricted, so unless you have a genuine emergency, please do not ask for a pass.5. Bring Required Materials Everyday
Come to class prepared with all the necessary supplies you were advised to carry at the beginning of the school year unless you have been told otherwise. Do not deter the teacher or other students from asking to borrow things that you have failed to carry to class.6. Start Your Assignment When The Bell Rings
When you arrive for class, instructions will be posted on the board or the projector screen. To begin your assignment, please do not wait to be reminded.7. Use Polite Speech And Body Language
Always behave in a manner that your teacher and fellow students appreciate. At all times, unkind teasing and impolite behaviour are inappropriate and will lead to disciplinary proceedings. When they are talking, be mindful of other students. There will be no toleration of any form of bullying.8. Speak When Permitted
You must raise your hand in class most of the time and wait before answering to be called on. During group work, there will be occasions when a quiet conversation is allowed. Be mindful of what it is and is not appropriate to speak. Until all students have finished, it is vital that students remain quiet during examinations.9. No Cheating
A zero and a phone call home will be given to students caught stealing. The same effects will be ensured by both the student who shares his work and the one who copies it. During tests and preparation of other graded tasks, be aware of unintended cheating by covering the paper. You should still uphold moral standards, such as integrity. It’s not a big deal to fail at times in tests, but it is never tolerable to succeed by cheating.10. Listen And Follow Directions
In class, it is necessary for you to pay attention and obey the instructions of the teacher. When you listen in class and follow instructions, there are chances for you to be a more effective student.11. Never Pack Up Before It’s Time To Leave
When it’s getting near to the end of class, it can be tempting to pack up early. Nevertheless, when preparing to leave, you can wait until the teacher has dismissed you.12. Turn in Work on Time
Please turn in your work on time unless you have been given an extension. A lower score will be given for late assignments.13. Use Technology For Learning
When the class uses a type of technology for a lecture, such as computers or tablets, use the technology to learn for its intended purpose. Don’t use social media or search the internet.14. Makeup Missed Work
If you have skipped a lecture or an assignment, make plans to finish the work with your tutor.15. If You Have a Question, Ask For Help
Ask the instructor or another student for assistance if anything is unclear, such as homework instructions or something in your reading materials.