Behavior Expectations

Would you like to play?

Would you like to play?














I was recently reminded, in a rather unusual way, of the many benefits that clear classroom behavior expectations provide. I’ll explain. This past summer, I moved into a home with a partially fenced backyard. As you know, I have a playful pup, Lexie, who loves to sniff, romp, and explore. Not having a fenced backyard was a big change for both of us—I now always had to be in the backyard with Lexie, summoning her to stay close. Lexie, who for the past seven years has enjoyed a fenced backyard, was having a difficult time figuring out what part of that big green playground was hers. After the first week, she was pretty much resigned to doing her business outdoors and returning inside.

Fast forward five weeks. The backyard is fenced, and Lexie is sniffing, exploring, and romping around her fabulous green playground. Why the difference in behavior? Lexie now knows where she can safely romp and explore. She no longer has to try to understand what is and is not acceptable.

As a teacher, I feel students are much the same. Students feel happier and safer in an environment where the behavior expectations are clear and consistent. If you agree, let me know! If you’d like to share your tips and ideas for setting clear classroom behavior expectations, I’d love to hear them!

Happy teaching,


5 thoughts on “Behavior Expectations

  1. Kids crave structure and routine. I have a self made book of class rules. Our hands are for helping. Our feet are for walking. We listen to big people. We all clean up. We take care of our school tools and our friends. We read it daily at circle and talk about why we have the rule. We ask for examples of what we do to make the rule work like how do we listen. Etc. I also have small posters with pictures posted at eye level.

  2. First,,I think children needs to feel safe.most important then the learning and expectation will fall into place. Where the children knows their safe ,they will be more relax to have fun learning experiences by having no routines of different teachers throughout, be content with the same teacher because that can interrupt their safe learning environment. Just like with a pet, with different pet handler, the pet will feel unsafe and be disobedient. So we want content routines with the same person as much as possible for our little learners.

  3. Last year, I made a five-rules poster for before-school hallway behavior because one particular child continued to be rough, rowdy, and rude as teachers had their 15-minute meetings each morning. The hallway supervisor used many strategies to encourage him to choose better behaviors. I showed my class the chart, explained the reasoning for each rule, and posted it near our classroom door. A few days later, I noticed this boy keeping hands and feet to himself. I asked him why he was choosing to be so kind; his sweet little mouth grimaced and one eyebrow went up as he pointed to the poster. Problem solved! Some children need verbal reminders, some need visual reminders, and this young guy needed both.

  4. I teach preschool in a bi-lingual elementary school. The French teacher and I do a few lessons together at the beginning of the year regarding setting rules. We coach the children in determining the rules, we take pictures of them implementing them, and post this in our classroom. That way, the rules, and visual reminders, are consistent in both classes.

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