The basic answer is that a well-defined mission statement and simple, positive student produced rules will create a classroom structure of fewer problems. This in turn creates a path for success for each student. For the reason that this will give the students more security and less worry, as without this, problems will escalate into more problems and feed off the chaos. Thus, by removing the bulk of the problems, we create a better run class and a better environment for learning. In this setting the teacher can better address any sprouting problems and behavior issues, usually just by pointing to the poster the students made.
“The number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is the lack of procedures and routines.”
The definitive goal is to get the mission and rules happening on the first day of school. The teacher helps the students create the positive rules by collaborating about the rubrics and procedures.
- A classroom mission statement must include the behavior expectations and positive rules and the plan for supporting the expectations. Then, the students have ownership and a vested interest in a positive structure.
- When the students know the rules, will help create a setting where there is more listening, because they know the teacher cares and is a positive influence.
- We can reinforce any negative behaviors by restating or pointing to the poster the students made and agreed upon of our expectations and rules.
- If there is any breaking of the rules, then the student can be met by a privilege revoked or a timeout and or a parent conference to discuss strategies to refocus to positive behaviors.
- A positive rules poster will serve as a reminder that as we go through the year, what is required of the student. And can give security and confidence to the parents a positive structure is in place for their child.
- The mission statement serves as a reminder of what we as a class have agreed to and what we value that helps each student function and strive better.
- The mission will also be a platform to help communicate each lesson expectations and what creates success. As students are more willing to learn when they know what is expected of them.
The time spent early on with the mission and rules will save class time in the long run. As this will help structure and encourage cooperation, responsibility, self-discipline and mutual respect.
Dr. Richard Krejcir is an Author, Researcher, seasoned Special Education teacher and the Director of a nonprofit that does educational training in third-world countries. He is also a STEAM teacher and a father of a son with autism.