Rules of behavior and coexistence in the classroom

Rules of behavior and coexistence at school

When we talk about standard setting, we usually mean the standards in the home. Although in some cases it is often a somewhat complicated process, compared to standard setting in the classroom, this process will be quite simple. Without a doubt, although as parents or adults it may seem complicated (especially at an early age), it is not the same to establish rules of coexistence for one, two, or three children at home, than for 20, 25, 30 or more children at home. a classroom . In most cases, although the schools or teachers have their pre-established rules of good behavior at school, they feel overwhelmed, since they do not get all the children to follow them, or there are more who break them than those who they abide by, or are simply already outdated rules, so it is necessary to make some adjustments.

It is common that in most classrooms we find billboards or pictures with all kinds of rules of coexistence, the good speaker and the good listener, magic words such as “please” and “thank you”, rules about “how should I behave in class ”, etc. However, are we really teaching our children how to behave? As teachers, are we doing everything in our power to teach each group of children what “good behavior” looks like at school?

Tips and TIPS for the classroom

  • First of all , when we want to set norms in the classroom, the most important thing to consider is the age of the children we are teaching . The understanding of a 3 year old is not going to be the same as that of an 8 or 9 year old. Similarly, the needs of a preschool-age child will not be the same as those of a primary school child or a secondary school adolescent, and that is why we must adapt the rules of behavior to the age and evolutionary moment of the group of children. For younger children, the rules of behavior should be short, clear, and specific; for example: instead of telling them to carry out all the activities that are proposed, we can tell them to work them little by little . It is also important that, when setting standards, we try to minimize the use of NO and try to tell children what they can do. For example, instead of saying “You cannot get up from your seats”, we can say “You must stay seated.”
  • Second , it is important that when setting standards for good behavior in the classroom , we use all kinds of resources to get children to understand them. It is not enough to teach them and have children recite them every day as a poem before starting the school day, since in this way they will only be learning words mechanically that will not have any meaning for them. Use visual resources, add colors, read stories that talk about the rules of coexistence, values, etc. In this way, children will be more attentive and interested, and will be able to motivate themselves by the established rules of behavior.
  • Third , and as one of the most important points, we must use motivation and reinforcement . Many times, as adults (whether we are parents or teachers), we focus too much on the negative behaviors of children, because they are usually the most striking and those that require immediate correction. In this way we tend to ignore positive behaviors and fall into negative reinforcements, punishments … causing children to decrease their positive behaviors, and to maintain the negative ones and even increase them. This is why motivation and reinforcement are so important. If a student is meeting some of the standards that have been established, it is important to reinforce their attitude. Whichever method is used, motivation and positive reinforcement are extremely important.
  • Finally, it is interesting to involve the students in the rules of the class , asking them for their opinion on the matter through, for example, brainstorming, which will make them feel part of the process. By involving them in the process, it will be easier for them to follow the rules of coexistence, since they will feel that their opinion has been taken into account.

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