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Classroom Rules and Procedures
Student Discipline Policy: We are all here to learn from one another. Anything that detracts from our learning process will be a violation of our classroom code of conduct. Student Communication Policy: If you have any questions or concerns, you must come and talk to me. I can only solve your problems if I know what they are. Anti-Discrimination Policy: You will be expected to treat EVERYONE with the utmost respect. This includes me, your classmates, other students, other teachers, and the public in general. Any remarks or actions that denigrate any gender, race, ethnicity, religious group, or sexual orientation will be treated as a serious violation or our code of conduct. Academic Honesty Policy: Any proven incident of cheating or plagiarism may result in an immediate ‘0’ on the assignment or test in question, and will be brought before the Academic Review Committee for further disposition. Tardiness Policy: School Policy States that you are required to be in the classroom when the bell rings. Any unexcused lateness will be a simple violation of the code of conduct Late Work Policy: All work will be completed in class. If you are unable to complete the work in the allotted time, please see me and we will make other arrangements. Extra Credit Policy: As assignments are not given for credit, there will not be extra credit. If you are unsatisfied with your grade, however, please see me and we will make arrangements for how to improve it. Absentee Work Policy: If you know you are going to be absent, you MUST talk to me beforehand in order to address missed content. If your absence is unplanned, you must come see me the day you return in order to arrange a time to go through missed content. Food & Drink Policy: Water will be readily available in the classroom, however you must wait until a natural break in order to obtain some. Snacks and gum will be allowed provided they do not serve as a distraction. If they become a distraction, they will become immediately banned. Bathroom Policy: No more than one male and one female student may be gone to the bathroom at any given time. Please limit your time to five minutes. Sharpening Pencils, Throwing away trash, etc.: Please limit these things to natural breaks. Please have both pens and pencils so that, if you break a pencil, you can use a pen. Exceptions: Every rule has exceptions. If you feel that your situation warrants an exception, please see me and we will discuss!
Violation Consequences Simple Violation – This is considered to be the most minor type of violation of the code of conduct, however consequences are still a part of these violations. 3 violations equal one Serious Violation. First Offense: Verbal Warning – Will discuss the offense within one day and discuss ways to avoid future infractions. Second Offense: Written Warning – Will go into student’s class file to be discussed during parent teacher conferences. Third Offense: Becomes a Serious Violation. Serious Violation – This is considered a major offense which requires deeper intervention. First Offense: After class discussion about actions. Possible involvement of parent or administrators Second Offense: Involvement of parent or administrator. Possible formal intervention with school behavioral staff. Third Offense: Becomes an Aggravated Violation. Aggravated Violation – These are the most serious types of offenses. These occur due to either multiple serious offenses, or any single event that could my construed as dangerous to anyone in the class. First Offense: Immediate removal from classroom environment. Possible intervention with Administration. Second Offense: Immediate intervention with both parents and Administration involved. Suspension possible.
Any student who chronically misbehaves is doing so for a reason. I will pursue Applied Behavior Analysis in these situations in order to determine the antecedents and conditions present that may be leading to the poor behavior. While removal from the class must be a last resort because often times that is the desired result for the misbehaving student, in some situations it is necessary because you cannot allow one student to ruin the learning opportunities for the rest of the class. At the beginning of every class day, I will attempt to be right outside my door in order to both view what is going on in the halls and in order to greet my students. This will be especially crucial during the first few weeks because that is where the relationships are created. I cannot say that there will be a specific anticipatory set to begin each day because there may be carryover in lessons, but I will attempt to begin each class period with a ‘This Day in History’ as well as a quick current events clip from either the news, or The Daily Show. At the end of the day if a lesson runs short (which likely won’t be very often), it will depend on what we are doing. Most likely, I will simply have us extend discussions about what we are learning and apply it to current situations. For student work, I will have a folder for each student where I keep records, notes, and past assignments. Grades will likely be kept online using something like Infinite Campus which is accessible by both students and parents. I will list both activities and assignments for the upcoming week on a white board in the classroom, and I will have copies of all reading on a desk at the rear of the classroom. Assignments will be collected by passing work to each side of the classroom either at the beginning or end of class (depending on situation) or during natural breaks. At the beginning, I do not intend to have students raise their hands. One of the first things I will try to teach in a government class is parliamentary procedure. This will allow students to properly take turns after being recognized for wanting to speak. In the same light, I plan to have a gavel, which I will use to get student attention.
I know this may seem like a cop out, but I will involve parents in my classroom in any way they want. If a parent wants to help out or volunteer in any way, I am all for it. That said, I will need to run it by their child (my student) before I let them work in the class while they are there. The fact is that some students may be uncomfortable with their parents being in the same classroom as them. If that is the case, it could cause a distraction and it could be detrimental for learning, and since student learning is the primary goal, their wishes have to be taken into consideration. That said, parents will have an in depth knowledge of what is going on in the classroom. I will create a welcome packet that includes all classroom rules and procedures as well as describing what we intend to learn as a class. I will create a class website that holds student blogs, but also will serve for communication between myself and their parents. I will write a blog on (at least) a monthly basis that discusses what we’ve done and shares some of the more interesting events of the past month. I will not likely do in home visits before or during the school year, but I would like to create a VoiceThread before school starts for each of my students that allows me to introduce myself to them and would also allow them to introduce themselves to me and to each other. I intend to involve both students and parents in conferences, but my goal is for that to not be the first time I have spoken to parents. My goal is to have at least given one phone call to each family within the first month of the school year. This will help me to build rapport with them in the same way that I am with their children, and it will let them know that I am devoted to their child’s learning. When conferences come around, I will have students discuss with their parents at least one thing that they’ve done in the class and one thing they did or did not like about it. We will then discuss their performance and talk about what goals they may have for the rest of the semester or year. As far as grades go, parents will be able to access them on a program like Infinite Campus. If that is not available, I will provide them with both my phone number and my email address. Regarding disciplinary issues, I will not involve parents until the issues have become either habitual or very serious in nature. When that does happen, I will call them in order to decipher what may be the issue and what partnership we may be able to form in order to solve the problem. Hopefully, this will not have been the first time I have spoken to them, so they will know that I am not simply out to get their child and that, if I’m contacting them about a problem, it is reasonably serious. If a parent does not seem interested or involved with their child’s schooling, I will continue to try to interact with them in the same way as all of the other parents. After all, it is mostly for the benefit of the students that these communications are made anyway. If, however, they expressly state that they do not want to be contacted, I will respect their wishes. As far as collaboration with administration and other teachers, I will start by inviting the principal or any other faculty into my room to observe my teaching. We are a community of learning, and anything that can be done to improve instructional method is beneficial. Having someone view what I am doing can give them tips as well as giving me new ideas. Furthermore, I will collaborate with all of my fellow social studies teachers in order to effectively align our instruction and to make sure we are giving our students the best information possible. Ideally, this will be done multiple times a week during a planning period. I will also attempt to collaborate with teachers of other subjects so that, where possible, we can align our instruction so that English supports social studies, which supports science and so on. That will help drive home what we are teaching to student. Overall, I just want an open communication policy between myself and anyone who wishes to talk. The more openness, the better!
My room will be decorated in such a way that allows students to feel comfortable, facilitates learning, and allows them to get to know me. I was in a class last fall that derided the idea of putting anything on the wall that affiliated you with any sports team, for example, because it in no way facilitated learning. I thought that was foolish and shortsighted. By putting things on the wall that show that I am an Iowa Hawkeye fan and graduate, a Drake Bulldog fan and graduate, a Cubs and Bears fan, students can know about me as a person which can lead them to build a rapport with me. One of the best ways to get to know your students is by allowing them to get to know you, and knowing your students improves their learning outcomes. I will begin by having my teacher’s desk at the back of the room. Having my desk at the front could allow me to use it as a crutch and I do not want to be tempted to sit at my desk. I also do not want it to be the focal point of the room. Since mine will be a student centered classroom, they will be the centerpiece. Desk arrangement may be changed from time to time to facilitate the work we are doing. For instance, in teaching a government class, I will try to have my student desks set up to model the halls of Congress. If I’m teaching a history class and we are discussing Viet Nam negotiations, I will set desks up like a donut with a hole in it to demonstrate the shape of the table issues that went on before they could even begin negotiating. If I have a student with a disability, I will assign seating accordingly. If there is a hearing or vision issue, I will try to get them toward the front without it being to obvious so that they may avoid any social stigma. If they are in a wheelchair, I will make sure there is a spot for them near the door so that they can more easily access their desk. Along the walls I will have worthwhile historical texts and maps which will facilitate learning, but may also challenge their preconceived notions. For example, there are world maps that show the South Pole at the top and the North Pole at the bottom. People take for granted that north is up and south is down, but there is no logical justification for those beliefs. It just so happened that those who originally drew the maps were from the northern hemisphere, so they drew themselves on top. In regards to student work, I will have a place to display excellent work, but I will not require work to be displayed. What I mean is that the display of work will be something that we discuss and decide upon as a class. There will be a table by the door that has all readings and assignments for the week. This will allow students who either miss class or misplace their work to easily obtain a copy. There will be a library in my classroom. It will be my personal library. It will include not on social studies based books, but also any textbooks I have and any works of fiction that I deem to be interesting, helpful, and appropriate. There will be a desk off to the side (hopefully by a window) where students can do independent work if they desire or we deem it to be necessary. Ass far as technology, I hope there is as much as possible. I wish to have a computer attached to a projector so that I can show video clips as well as using Powerpoint or other tools. I hope that all of my students have their own laptops, because I would like them to be able to write blogs and discuss them with each other online in order to facilitate discussion. Overall, I just want a room that effectively demonstrates my educational philosophy. In that light, my classroom will desire and demand to be inclusive with anti-discrimination language prominently displayed. It will have viewable materials that support the learning that is being done. Finally, it will show my personality so that students can get to know me as I get to know them and as we get to know the content together.