A Really, Really Well-Written Set Of Classroom Rules 

Well, actually 2.

You could make the argument that they’re too simple I guess. Or that they seem elementary and wouldn’t work beyond 4th grade.

But I’m not so sure. It all boils down to your approach to “classroom management,” or rather promoting the tone to learning and personal interaction your students deserve. Some teachers believe they need to be specific –that “Be respectful” is too vague, and that listing all the things one shouldn’t do in order to be respectful. And that approach works for them.

But if you count yourself among another group–one that hopes that behavior is not only learned, but a product of self-awareness and self-respect–then a new tact must be taken. Which is why these classroom rules posters are so great.

The first one (from is fairly traditional, but simplified and almost entirely focused on the human being the rules were written for, rather than the rules themselves. Take risks and make mistakes, Do your best, Say please and thank you, and Work hard. All good stuff.

The one below (from is also simple, but masterfully walks the student through the typical escalation of a “problem.” It also starts out with mutual respect and a safe classroom environment as a foundation, and encourages the student to be self-aware, acting freely, but always with interdependence in mind.

It also ends where it started: with a self-aware student, this time pro-actively reaching out to correct themselves or some perceived injustice, giving them a voice, and a written contract to interact with the teacher on (somewhat) even ground.

Even if it doesn’t always work out that way, it’s a beautiful starting point, and among the most thoughtful set of classroom rules we’ve seen.