I used to brag to other teachers how I would be a bear the first few weeks of school being really strict, enforcing rules, and making sure students abided by those rules. Rules were normal part of school. I grew up with them and my students had to live with them. I set the rules and students had no choice. Consequences were dealt out swiftly and without remorse not caring if I hurt their feelings. They had to learn who was in charge. I took this no nonsense approach year after year making students scared instead of inviting them in to learn.
If rules were broken students had to move a card from color to another. It was a system the team of teachers I worked with shared. No student wanted to move a card (cards were used as the behavior modification system) so there was always an unspoken threat in my classroom. - be good or move a card. Another unspoken threat - be good or I'll call your parents.
After remaking myself as a teacher and technology integration specialist over the past two and a half years, I realize rules hurt learning. Antagonistic rules are. They mean teachers rule, students are untrustworthy, and the ever present implication learning is always controlled. Rules bring conflict into a place where it doesn't belong. Having to call a parent/guardian about infractions makes for awkward conversation. "Hi Mrs. So and So. I'm calling to tell you Susie did this today and I'm going to keep her in for recess because of it." Conversations with parent about their children should be about the degree to which
How do you feel about rules in the classroom?