Class Management

Ground rules

Let's assume—just for fun—that you are reading this before you have got a problem with class management!

If it isn't the case, then one of the reasons you looked this page up is probably that you did not do it, or that you tried to impose your own rules rather than sign the students up to generally-accepted rules.

What are ground rules?

They are the minimum necessary conditions for getting learning work done in the class.

They may include:

There is no definitive list for all classes, but it is a useful exercise to think through what you want on the list before you start the class: if you don't know what you want, how will the students know?

Do Ground Rules work?

No. They are necessary but not sufficient.

You can use a spirit of honest enquiry to clarify them through questions: "Is there anyone who expects that they may have difficulty getting here for the official start-time?" "Do any of you need to keep your mobiles on, for family or 'on-call' reasons? OK, could you set them up for 'silent ring', please?"

What are the Ground Rules about Ground Rules?

These are the "meta-ground rules"!