Module 4 Behaviour management

Classroom expectations and rules

The key is that behaviour is functionally related to the teaching environment. Where the behaviour is what the student “does” and the teaching environment is all that happens before, during and after the student’s behaviour including interactions with adults and peers.

Teachers set up teaching environments that promote positive behaviour through the use of consistent and clear classroom expectations and rules.

Clear and consistent classroom expectations and rules:

  • create a vision of a successful student/teacher
  • enhance safety through predictability
  • allow proactive teaching of behaviours for success
  • communicate a positive message to students and parents about a success at school
  • provide a framework to guide teacher decisions about behaviour management
  • validate and support individual teachers’ procedures and requests.

Expecations should be:

  • consistent and align with a school-wide system
  • unique to the classroom needs.

To do this:

  1. Start with school-wide expectations
  2. Identify which problems are occurring in the classroom
  3. Identify the replacement behaviours
  4. Identify the skills/areas of need
  5. Develop 1-2 rules per expectation

By adding school-wide classroom expectations to the school-wide matrix, everyone knows that these are the expectations and rules for all classrooms in the schools. More information about this can be found in the PBL School-wide systems of support training.

Teachers then develop their own matrix for their classroom, based on the needs of their classroom and teaching.

Each behavioural expectation and rule must be observable, measurable, positively stated, understandable and always applicable (the OMPUA guidelines) .

Other considerations

  • Students have a role in formulating rules
  • Rules should be easy to reinforce and correct
  • Rules should be age and setting appropriate
  • Explicitly teach and practice classroom rules
  • Teacher models and reinforces consistently
  • Rules need to be displayed in a prominent position.

A good package of rules includes: movement around the classroom, talking, work completion, readiness and compliance, and focusses on what is relevant to your classroom at that time.

Remember, classroom rules need to be specific to your current classroom and use language and visual prompts as required by the learning needs of your students.

Return to top of page Back to top