Welcome back to all of you who, like me, took a break in July. Before you know it, we will be starting another school year with new challenges.
One of the things I like to do before starting the year is to review in my mind the classroom rules I used in the past. How did they work? What are some new rules that I need to add to the list. We want to provide an orderly, respectful environment which promotes learning and growth in their relationship with God.
To provide this kind of environment there has to be some organization – rules. I start by explaining this idea to the students – we can’t learn in chaos. If everyone talks at the same time no one can be heard or understood. So, our first rule is “Only one person talks at a time. Raise your hand if you have something to say”.
The next idea is respect. None of us likes to be laughed at or have our comments dismissed. So, the next rule is “There are no dumb questions. If you really don’t understand a point, ask a question.”
I think that praying together establishes a bond that is different from all others. Pray with your students and for your students. Praying the formal prayers of the Church is a good way to help the students learn these prayers and thus be able to pray together. In addition to the formal prayers, leave time to pray for specific needs – a good year, students to pass a test, illness in students families, etc. A very good friend of mine, prays for her students before every class by sitting in each desk and praying for the student that sits there.
I asked my granddaughter who is going into seventh grade about her class. She said they are “like a family”. They are not all best friends, in fact, sometimes they are not friends at all but they all know one another and care about one another. They know who has learning issues and help each other. Her response made me smile. Her teachers have done a great job establishing a respectful and charitable environment. That is what we are all aiming for – a caring compassionate environment.
Please let me know your “rules” and how you establish an orderly, respectful environment for your students. Good luck this year and God bless you and your class.