Do you allow students to chew gum or use mobiles in class? Why?! Simply because we have rules in our schools. As we have rules, we have to follow them. The first one who must follow these rules is YOU. If you don’t, you will lose respect for yourself and for your rules. The point is that you should be a model for your students. Once you tell them a rule, you have to stick with it. In addition, I learned from experience the effectiveness of the following tips for students to follow your rules in class.
1. Use a reminder:
If you see a student chatting a bit with a classmate, ask: “Do you have a question? Is there something you want to tell me about? Have you finished yet?” This serves as a reminder. The key point here is that you remind the student and the whole class with the rule agreed upon that was not followed by someone. This kind of situation may not need a consequence. Just a reminder for that student to stop and return to follow the rules.
2. A consequence has to follow:
Not all rules can be treated the same. For example, when you see a student using a mobile, you can’t just say: “I remind you not to use your mobile.” In this situation, students will not expect a reminder but a warning and then a consequence. You have to say then: “This is a warning and a consequence will follow.” And then, a consequence has to follow if the same student or any other one does not stick to this rule. All students watch and expect the consequence. If you just sigh or neglect what happens, students will not see any rule to follow in this situation.
3. Be transparent and fair:
Be respectful to all and set your rules nicely and clearly but don’t be selective in your reminders or warnings. Give the rules to the class collectively. As a result, a consequence for not sticking to a rule has to be the same for all students.
4. Talk more about objectives not rules:
Always put in your mind, the ultimate goal of your teaching in class is not enforcing students to follow rules but teaching effectively to help students achieve certain learning objectives. Don’t talk much about rules but spend most of your time talking about effective teaching and the objectives that you are charged to help students to achieve, and don’t forget that students from a time to another need to feel a sense of accomplishment.