Democracy on the Classroom Rules

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One of my classroom rules
Have you ever experienced a class that is so chaotic? Students are not focusing their attention to the teacher's instruction. Students bullying their classmates during the lesson. Students asking permission to the rest room all the time. Students forget to bring their books and stationary. And the teacher is overwhelmed with her effort to maintain the class under control that sometimes she unintentionally neglect the good students. There is one important thing for teachers to do so that class condition can be kept comfortable for everybody: Classroom Rules.
I know..I know... classroom rules are not that effective, but at least it helps a bit. Teacher may remind their students about the classroom rules (or by some teachers called study contract) if the students go astray.
In this post, I want to share my experience, creating a democratic classroom rules.
In the beginning of this academic year, I asked students to discuss what rules a class should have to ensure everyone is comfortable about the classroom condition. Each group decide one classroom rule that everyone agrees to. So each class will have one set of personalized classroom rules. I write each lines on board and everyone should copy them in their notebook and sign the classroom rules. It is a proof that the students agree to conduct what has been written in classroom rules. This way, each class will have a different set of classroom rules. Some classes want music during exercise time, some classes prefer to have completely silent classes. Some classes want to be extremely serious, some class want to be a bit relax, they let their friends move a bit around the classroom. In addition, I have one rule that should be applied to all class, not about homework, etc., I just want everyone to accept everybody's opinion. I don't want my students to be laughed at.
In my opinion, a more democratic classroom rules has some benefits.
1. Students learn to take responsibility of what they say
2. It shows that teacher are not a monster. Sometimes students think that their teacher is too strict about their lesson. Having a democratic classroom rules, creates a better relation between the teacher and the students.
3. Students learn that rules are made, not to be broken, but to facilitate everyone a comfortable environment. The classroom rules are not only the teacher's demand, but actually how their classmates are expecting them to behave.
4. Students learn to speak for what they need. If they need a silent condition to study, they should speak in public to get what they need.
etc.
This is the first time I apply a classroom rules to my classes. I don't know what will happen in the future but so far... the classes went quite well.

Anymore suggestion for a classroom rules? Feel free to leave a comment.
Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I am a physics teacher and I love to learn anything in the universe.

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