Three Key Behaviour Management Activities That Make Rules Work

Three Key Behaviour Management Activities that will Make you class Rules Work

I have to say I HATE the thought that every year, the experts believe teachers have to construct a set of classroom rules.

These experts are more clever than I so I don't want to argue with them. For me it doesn't work. The old adage "hope for the best, but prepare for the worst" stands perfectly true for the behaviour management activities in the classroom.

When I am relief teaching I establish the classroom rules - not the kids, There is no compulsion to follow the classroom rules of the classroom teacher. I know many do because there is a comfort in doing so,

Me .... not a chance. For this day in the classroom, I am in charge, Students are more astute than we give them credit for. In high school every teacher has their own set of classroom rules. Surprisingly, it works.​

I'm sure children vsiit other hoems whihc have different home rules. Hats off, shoes off inside, elbows off the tables, grace before meals etc.

Surprisingly they survive as well.

You have the option of following the class rules or make up your own.​ You are the professional. Do what you like.

behaviour management activities

Here are my 3 key behaviour management activities which I use to establish my class rules.


Don't Let KIDS establish the class rules.

Good grief! Since when did classrooms become democracies. Most work places don't use democracy to establish rules. Certainly Education Departments don't follow democratic principles. So why should classrooms?

You are the teacher. You make the rules. You are the responsible adult. You are going to take the fall when things go wrong. 

Behaviour management experts will have you believe that a consensus is necessary to make classroom rules work.


Classroom rules work and support behaviour management activities when they are fair and applied correctly - and the TEACHER does that. Apart from the exceptions that curdle the behaviour management soup, most students kids know how they should behave in a classroom.

They learn that in kindergarten - or even before

I know there will be a couple of kids who might enter your classroom for whom the life guard was not on duty at their gene pool!  Well tough luck.

I bet they know they break the expectations of behaviour for the classroom. Otherwise they wouldn't run away when they do soemthing wrong.

Of course they know.

For the most part, behaviour management for 99% of your kids is known. Billy knows it is not acceptable to hit Freddy with the construction blocks. That's why he will run away when you approach. You don't need to point to a rule chart for him to know he is wrong.

So why waste your time establishing a set of kids-based behaviour management rules at the start of the year?

You're the Behaviour Management Boss

behaviour management activities


Every Student Has the Right To Learn

This is a key axiom to establishing behaviour management activities in your classroom.

Every student has a right to learn.

If there is ANY behaviour which interferes with this - THEN that behaviour is inappropriate.

So when Mary is talking and talking and talking, the most appropriate response would be, "Mary, your chatter is interfering with the classes right to learn. STOP.!"

You can whisper under your breath, "... or I will wring your scrawny neck!"  but make sure no-one hears.

When the students  get bigger, and behaviour management becomes more problematic you can be clever and use a more clever approach.

You : "Billy, is there anything you are doing that interferes with Johnny's right to learn?"

Billy: "Yes! I am poking him with a pencil"

You:"Thanks Billy. How can you enhance Johnny's right to learn?"

Billy: "Stop poking him"

You: "Perfect solution Billy! Thank you for your help."

Good Grief - Who Am I Kidding? The interaction will probably go like this.

You : "Billy, is there anything you are doing that interferes with Johnny's right to learn?"

Billy: "Nah!"

You: "Yes it is you are poking him. Now STOP it!"

But if you REALLY want the impact.

ou : "Billy, you are interfering with Johnny's right to learn. Stop poking him"

Keep the purpose of the classroom and your behaviour management process squarely on LEARNING.

Behaviour Management Activities are about Effecting Learning


Keep Behaviour Management Simple.

You can make behaviour management as comples as you like but honestly the simpler the better.

You can make a zillion rules about classroom behaviour from where the kids place their rulers on the desk, to how they stand, exit the room, sneeze!

You could go on and on - and I have seen some do just that. Most rule charts last a few weeks before they become tattered, slip off the wall or have Mary's picture of her five legged dog stuck over the rule about putting hands up.

f you want the kids to stand behind their desks before they exit the room, practice it. Kids will get the idea after the FIRST time and then YOU have the responsibility to keep it in focus. Simple!

You can do that with every behaviour management expectation you have. Show the kids what it means. Simple.

Having a rule which says "We put our hands up to speak" - (Don't laugh. I have seen that on a chart) - means squat if YOU don't use it. You know what?

Sometimes you may want kids to shout out answers. (Sometimes). If you want to build enthusiasm for a topic, You may like kids to be SO involved THAT they just have to SHOUT out the answer.

That's great.

I love that energy in my classroom.

But there are times when I want hand up. Like when I am teaching percentage and compound interest. I want to develop the lesson like a lawyer with my sharp and inciteful questioning techniques. So at the start of the lesson I say. "I want hands up for this lesson". Simple.

Don't limit yourself by setting up.

  • ridiculous rules (no swinging on chairs)
  • obvious rules (no hitting)
  • Rules you can't enforce (no drinking in the room)
  • any rule that might limit your choice as a teacher. 

Oh! Did you think the rules only applied to kids? Forget it. If you can’t follow the SAME rules as the kids – DON’T USE IT. Kids are much more astute than that. The old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do,” just doesn’t cut it any more.

Behaviour Management Activities are about Effecting Learning

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