Point #2 — Clear Explanation of Rationale for Rules and Policies
In general, students tend to respond more cooperatively when they understand the logical reason or rationale for classroom rules. Very often, they also exhibit better compliance with rules that allow an appropriate measure of independent self-regulation instead of strict inflexible compliance. One example that struck me as useful is the explanation of why students must ask for permission to be excused to the restroom in conjunction with an acknowledgment that mature students need not necessarily request permission directly from the teacher. The technique that I learned in this respect is to explain why only one or two students may leave the room at a time in conjunction with the opportunity for self-regulation. Specifically, I will allow independent use of the hall key and I will emphasize that it is predicated on mature use without necessitating disrupting the class to request permission from the teacher.
Point #3 — Dealing with Behavioral Issues
I will explain that I have a zero-tolerance policy for disruptive behavior and I will outline the disciplinary steps that incidents will trigger. A disruptive student will be immediately isolated to an area where he or she cannot use bad behavior to become the center of attention. Ideally, that area will be situated so that it provides a minimal view of the student from the vantage point of classmates, hereby eliminating the most common motivation for disruption (i.e. attention seeking). I will also outline (in advance) that subsequent steps include removal from the class and meetings with administrators and parents. In principle, I hope to minimize disruptive behavior by removing the incentive for it and by establishing a firm pattern of immediate response and follow-through according to the outline presented to the class in advance of any.