Instead of rules, set procedures

Don’t spend time and energy establishing and enforcing classroom rules, writes Coach G. Provide  “clear procedures” that give kids structure. “You can’t do your best at anything if you don’t know what you’re supposed to do.”

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  1. I’d have to agree with this – for example, the phrase “pay attention” may mean “I’ll give the teacher a tiny slice of my attention, in between texting, talking, and other things”.

    But, when the teacher explicitly states. “I expect you to have your mouths closed, eyes on me, and all electronics put away”, the expectations are clear.

  2. A copy of Harry Wong’s The First Days of School is possibly the best equipment any teacher could have to start a new year.

  3. lightly seasoned says:


  4. palisadesk says:

    I give three thumbs up to Harry Wong’s book, too. However, another excellent one, specifically for teaching procedures, is this one:

    Teaching Effective Classroom Routines

    I was at a summer 3-day in-service program with one of the authors and was equally impressed by her and her book. Unfortunately I made the mistake of loaning my copy to my principal and will probably never see it again.

    I highly recommend it however. It goes into much more detail about setting routines and teaching procedures than Wong’s book does, and it has lots of helpful charts, photocopiables, etc.

  5. As is usually the case, these procedures apply to elementary school but no one ever includes the qualifier.

    I know the occasional high school teacher who says “I spend two weeks teaching procedures”, but that’s just pathetic.