Effective Rules for the Classroom

Specific rules for teachers to adopt in their classrooms

Classroom rules are the key to maximizing learning time.
Classroom rules are the key to maximizing learning time. Steve Wisbauer. Getty Images.

Class rules are an important aspect of every classroom. They provide guidelines that allow students to know what is expected. Class rules need to be simple, easy-to-follow, and posted for your students to see. One of the keys to writing great rules for your classroom is to keep them general enough to cover a variety of situations but also specific to your students, classroom, and school.

At the beginning of each school year, go over the rules in class with your students, leaving time for questions and discussion. Provide the rules to parents as well, so that they are aware of your expectations for the school year. With a reasonable set of clear and specific rules, you can anticipate a well-run classroom.

Rules for Teachers to Use in the Classroom

1. Come to class on time: In order to keep the classroom running smoothly, everyone needs to be on time and ready to start class. Students outside the door and rushing in after the bell has begun to ring will be considered tardy. You must be in your seat when the bell rings to be counted as on time.

2.​ Start your assignment as soon as the tardy bell rings​: Directions will be posted on the board or on the projection screen when you arrive for class. Please do not wait to be reminded to begin your assignment.

3. Attend to personal needs before class: Use the restroom or stop at your locker before class to avoid causing disruption for your fellow students. Hall passes are limited, so please do not ask for a pass unless you have a true emergency.

4. Bring required materials every day: Unless you have been instructed otherwise, come to class prepared with all of the required materials you were advised to bring at the beginning of the school year. Do not interrupt the teacher or other students to ask to borrow items you forgot to bring to class.

5. Talk when permitted:  Most of the time, you must raise your hand in class, wait to be called on, and then speak. There may be times during group work when quiet talking is permitted. Be aware of when talking is and isn't allowed. It is important that students remain quiet during exams until all students have finished.

6. Use polite speech and body language: Unkind teasing and impolite behavior is unacceptable at all times and may lead to further discipline. Be respectful of other students when they are speaking. Any form of bullying will not be tolerated.

7. Don't cheat: Students caught cheating will receive a zero and a phone call home. Both the student who shares his work and the person who copies it will suffer the same consequences. Be mindful of accidental cheating by covering your paper during exams and other graded assignments.

8. Follow the teacher's directions​: It is important to pay attention in class and follow the teacher's specific directions. You will be a more successful student if you listen in class and follow instructions.