Class Created

Class Created

Imagine having a conversation with a student where they shared with you that making fun of other people is not okay. Then imagine hearing that same student mocking an instructor, a parent or another student. Finally, picture being able to say to that student, "A few days ago, you told me that making fun of other people is not okay. Why are you doing it now?"

When students are involved in establishing classroom expectations and procedures, it not only allows you to include rules that are important to the student, but it also gives you as the instructor the power to teach life lessons about responsibility, integrity and accountability.

Let's take a look at how class-created expectations and procedures might work.

Before beginning this process or any other, always set the context to establish the student state of mind that will yield the desired results. This might sound something like, in a calm, serious voice: "Class, I am enjoying getting to know each of you as we start off our class time together. It is my hope that our classroom can be it's own community or family, and that we can work, play and learn together while enjoying our time. It seems like it might help if we have some clear expectations that all of us can abide by. Will you help build a list of guidelines we can follow in this classroom?"

Seek commitment from students to help with the process.

Next, provide students with a list of categories and ask, "What can we do in our classroom to make it an effective and productive place in these categories?" Some suggested categories might include:

  • How we treat others
  • How we treat ourselves
  • How we enter
  • How we leave
  • How we get work done
  • How we talk
  • How we act
  • How we listen

Provide students with time to brainstorm other categories and build ideas of what the class can do under each category you initially provided. This activity is a great one to practice your new direction-giving skills. Here is an example:

"When I say, 'brainstorm,' move to a new area in the room with a partner. You will have two minutes to brainstorm ideas under the category of 'How We Treat Others.' At the end of the two minutes, we will get new partners and address a new category. How can I clarify our brainstorming process?"

There are many ways the brainstorming process can be completed. It might be as an entire class on the whiteboard, using small groups or teams, the rotation method described above, or any other method that seems effective, given your class dynamics.

When brainstorming is complete for all identified categories, show your gratitude for student participation. Excitedly state, "I am so impressed with your work and ideas as a class! We have an awesome list and I can't wait to see it in action."

Collect all lists from students and create one document that includes all of their ideas.

We will discuss how to share the list with students momentarily. For now, however, click on the Next button to advance to instructor-created expectations and procedures.

Last modified: Monday, 2 July 2012, 11:07 AM