When you want to ask your a question during class, what do you do? Do you simply shout out your question as soon as it enters your mind? Or do you instead raise your hand and wait until the teacher calls your name? If you raise your hand first, it\’s probably because your teacher has a
that states that\’s what you\’re supposed to do when you have a question. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone could simply talk whenever they wanted during class? What if everyone could simply get up and do whatever they wanted to during class? Do you think much learning would take place? Instead of an orderly, peaceful learning environment, a classroom without rules would be! If you\’re like many kids, you might feel like there are too many rules. After all, you have rules at home. You have rules at school. You have rules in the sports you play and the you participate in. Why do we have to have so many rules? In fact, why do there have to be any rules at all? As you\’ve probably already guessed from the classroom example described above, rules create out of chaos. Although you might want to be able to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, you probably wouldn\’t want the same of rules to apply to everyone else. To live and in a, we must have rules we mostly all agree upon. Sometimes these rules are informal rules, like the ones we have at home and in the classroom. Breaking these rules may have consequences, such as a time out or detention, but breaking them usually doesn\’t mean you\’re going to jail. Sometimes important rules are and applied to everyone in a particular community.
These rules are known as laws and breaking them can have more serious consequences, such as going to jail or paying a. When you learn to drive, you\’ll realize how many rules apply to the act of operating a. You can\’t go as as you want any time you want. You can\’t just anywhere you want to. You can\’t drive on whatever side of the road you want to drive on. The rules for driving share a with many of the rules you must follow in all aspects of life on a daily basis: keeping you. If you made a list of the rules you follow each day, you\’d quickly realize how many of them exist to keep you and make your life more enjoyable as a result. Just imagine what life would be like without any rules. What if anyone was allowed to take anything they wanted, including your stuff? What if people were allowed to drive their cars on sidewalks, where you ride your bike? If there are no rules to follow, things could get and dangerous. If you really feel like a particular rule is, be and learn more about the rule. Who created the rule? Why is it a rule? If it seems like there\’s no sufficient justification for the rule, don\’t ignore or break the rule. Instead, determine what you can do to try to change the rule. Working within the rules to change the rules is something legislators do every day all over the world. You can simply tell the learners what the rules are you have complete control in this case, they are YOUR rules and it is your responsibility to enforce them. By letting them decide the rules learners have a greater commitment to keeping them.
This latter approach sounds good, but it s likely that the rules won t meet your perceived needs: words like silent and respect and on-time might be missing! Better that Rules are agreed between teacher and learners, and best that they are established up front. The age, maturity, size and purpose of the group is important in this regard: no mobile phones might be less apposite in a class room of six year olds, than it is in an FE (Further Education, 16+) students, for example. Rules should be simple (I recently attended a session where rules were no more than four words each, and there were only six of them), thus easy to remember; they should be written up in big letters on a classroom poster, and thus always to mind; and they should be written down as the class discuss what they understand by each, and are thus embedded in each brain as they are accepted by the group. Ground rules are all there to ensure appropriate behaviour and mutual respect. Key clauses concern not talking over others, listening to the teacher, arriving on time, and turning off phones the agreed list should be the basis for order in the classroom. Not talking over others is about respect for other people, its about allowing voices to be heard and enabling teaching and learning to take place effectively. Unfortunately ten minutes listening to Parliament in action or BBC Radio Four s Today Programme might lead one to suspect that talking over one another is the way of things Listening to the teacher is about respect for other people allowing classmates to hear, developing a skill sadly lacking in much of society, listening and learning.
Listening so that you understand another s point of view, or the content of a teaching session. It s about remembering that we have one mouth but two ears and using the two channels in proportion. Arriving to a lesson on time is about respect for other people (you see the common thread in ground rules that s unfolding here? ). The teacher has a limited time to get a set amount of information across. It takes time to settle a group into a learning framework, and late comers disrupt that delicate dynamic. Turning off phones is about respect for others too again about disruption, challenging authority and spoiling the session. Rules then are about establishing a respectful atmosphere appropriate to learning the major problem being that we live in a society where the individual is lauded above society, and its all about me, me, me. Respect is a character trait in sad decline in the West, and it s interesting to read reports of the higher academic achievement coming out of schools in countries / societies where respect for others, the older generation in particular, is the norm. Agreeing the rules together can be used as a good introductory activity with a new group. Writing them up keeps them to hand for frequent referral, and writing them down helps fix them in the learners heads. A well balanced and mutually agreed set of ground rules should enable the teacher to prevent problems occurring in their classroom.