Basic classroom rules and how to create them

In order to maintain a smooth learning process and promote harmony among students, you always have to have some basic classroom rules. These will help keep your students in check while they’re able to coexist with others in peace and harmony. Below are the basic classroom rules that you can set for your students.

  1. Arrive in class on time
  2. Heed to your teacher’s instructions
  3. Raise your hand if you’d like to speak
  4. Try to please others
  5. Concentrate on your tasks
  6. Keep your desk clean
  7. Clean up every mess you make
  8. Be proud of your work
  9. Be kind to everyone
  10. Always give it your best shot
  11. Be respectful to the school grounds
  12. Show respect for other people’s property
  13. Listen to your classmates when they speak
  14. Act according to the school rules
  15. Sharing with others is paramount
  16. Involve yourself in discussions
  17. Never give up
  18. Whenever you need help, ask for it
  19. Walk around the school, don’t run
  20. Report if you every find someone in danger
  21. Feel free to ask questions
  22. Exercise your creativity
  23. Keep your hands and feet to yourself
  24. Never use hurtful words
  25. Help your classmates
  26. Be quiet when someone else is talking
  27. Be honest
  28. Have a positive attitude
  29. Follow the dress code
  30. Be curious


Setting rules can be the hardest thing to do if you haven’t done it before – but there are a few strategies that you can follow to create classroom rules, and they include;

1. Set boundaries

Every teacher ought to have boundaries. Period! You have to draw thick lines in the sand that your students don’t have to cross – meaning there are certain things you think they don’t have to do, and state the clear implications of going against your wish.

Once you have boundaries, they become a perfect basis upon which you set your rules and regulations.

2. Be specific

I believe that every rule has to have the element of specificity, or else it loses its relevancy. The following are some of the mistakes that stop some rules from being specific;

  • Over-generalization of a case, for example “Don’t use bad language” instead of “Don’t use racial slurs, vulgar words and any insulting words”. The latter is easier for students to follow because of specificity
  •  Using ambiguous words in the rules – thus making students confused about what exactly you’re stopping them from doing

When students have a strict rule like “Don’t sit in a dirty classroom”, it’s hard for them to go against it – all because of specificity.

3. Visualize how you want your classroom

As a teacher, you have to have a clear imagination of how you want your students to behave, and how you want your classroom to be organized. This is an important basis for setting the rules for your classroom.

Setting rules with no clear purpose will always create loopholes in your rules and will stop you from implementing them sometimes.

4. Do a little research

Before you set rules for your classroom, you have to make sure that your class is not going to look like a military barracks. Therefore, you have to research thoroughly on;

  • The ideal classroom etiquette
  • Fair rules and regulations for the classroom
  • How other teachers in your school are setting rules for their own class

Much as you might want to be unique in your approach, you have to see how other people approach the same thing. This will give you the informed standpoint before you set your rules.

5. Compare with the school rules

Before you even pin your list of class rules and regulations, you have to make sure that your rules are in harmony with the school rules and regulations.

If not, your rules will make your students behave differently from all the rest, thus raising eyebrows and compromising your job security.


Classroom rules are not enough to emphasize order in the classroom – even though they’re the first step towards that. You have to always remind your students of what they have and don’t have to do – in addition to having classroom leaders that will always help you get the students that transgress these rules.

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