Rules, Rights and Responsibilities

Rules are important in the classroom as they set expectations of the student’s behaviour. Rules reduce behaviour problems and create structure for the students. As indicated in the Student Welfare, Good Listening and Effective Learning: Student Welfare Policy, the Department of Education and Communities believe that schools and classrooms need to establish clear rules that are known and understood within the school community (DET, 1996).

Cailtin, in order to make the students feel included in the learning environment, you can involve the students when establishing the classroom rules and routines.

Based on Bill Rogers Behaviour Management: A Whole School Approach (2007), here are some ideas when creating class Rules, Rights and Responsibilities:

  • Create a ‘Rules, Rights and Responsibilities’ chart so the students can list the classroom rules, their rights and their responsibilities.
  • When developing the class rules, sit the students in a circle and discuss what rules the classroom should have, using the Woodoo South Public School rules as a guide.
  • Only three or four rules will be written, however these rules should be broad to cover all aspects within the classroom environment.
  • The chart should be displayed in the classroom to refer to when someone is disobeying the class rules.
  • When students display positive behaviour, reward them instantly.
  • It is important to read the rules regularly and remind students on the classroom rules.
  • The students will also work together to develop their rights and responsibilities. This will enable all the students to be responsible for their own behaviour.
  • The students can also use the rights and responsibilities as a guide on how they need to treat other students, and how they should be treated by their class members.
  • Should the students disobey the classroom rules, rights and responsibilities there will be consequences, which will be discussed under Dealing with Challenging Behaviours.


Further Reading:

Konza, D, Grainger, J & Bradshaw, K, 2001, Classroom Management: A Survival Guide, Thomson Social Science Press, South Melbourne, VIC.

Rogers, B 2011, Classroom Management: A Practical Guide for Effective Teaching, Behaviour Management and Colleague Support, 3rd edn, London, UK.

Rogers, B 2007, Behaviour Management: A Whole-School Approach, 2nd edn, Paul Chapman Publishing, London, UK.