Rules for Better Class Room Behaviours



1.Have Classroom rules for positive influence:


Use positive classroom rules

Students need to know what is expected of them in a classroom. Establish a set of rules, no more than 4 or 5, which make desired behaviour explicit. Refer to them frequently so that they are always on top of the mind of students!


The rules should tell the students what to do, rather than what not to do!


Don’t call out.


Put up your hand and wait to speak.

Don’t walk around the classroom.


Stay in your seat.

Don’t break things.


Look after classroom equipment.


Praise good behaviour and refer to the rule being followed. Use the rules to point out inappropriate behaviour, “Remember our rule about …”


2.Be in charge

As the teacher, and the adult, you are ‘in charge’. It is your classroom and you must actively and consciously make the rules and decisions, rather than letting them happen out of habit, poor organisation or at the whim of the students.


3.Establish a set of  routines for the beginning

‘start of lesson’ routines

Have a routine way of starting a lesson; a quiet activity that students can get right down to, without needing any explanation. Handwriting, copying from the board, spelling practice (familiar key language from the current topic) and mental arithmetic are good activities to set a quiet tone.


Do not allow discussion or be drawn into discussion yourself

Never attempt to start teaching a lesson until the students are ready

If you take the time to establish this, lessons will start themselves! You will not have that battle at the beginning of every lesson to get yourself heard.


4. Use positive reinforcement

Catch them being good

Praise is the most powerful motivator there is. Praise the tiniest steps in the right direction.

Students will not think you are being too strict and will not resent your firm decision making if you remember to smile, to criticise less and to praise more. Tell the students there will be positive consequences for positive behaviour, then follow through and show them.


Some positive behaviours are easily overlooked. Try to remember to praise students for

–              homework in on time

–              homework in late but at least it’s in

–              working quietly

–              good attendance

–              neat desk

–              not swinging on chair

–              smiling

–              contributing to class discussion

–              helping another student

–              not laughing at another student’s mistakes

–              promptly following your instructions

–              wearing glasses

–              using common sense


Use the reward systems of the school consistently and fairly.

Stick to your guns and don’t be ‘bullied’ into giving rewards that haven’t been earned.


5. Give rewards and make students work for it

Make rewards work for you

Give students relevant rewards for desirable behaviours:

  • starting tasks
  • completing tasks
  • following class rules, etc.

The goal is to establish the HABIT of co-operation. Standards can be subtly raised once the habit has been established. The easiest, quickest and most appreciated reward is descriptive praise.

Other possible rewards, besides those used as a school-wide system are

  • a note home to parents
  • name on a special chart which earns a later tangible reward
  • being given special responsibilities
  • being allowed to go first
  • having extra choices