Tag Archives: Expectations

Classroom Expectations for the Students and the Teacher

One of my goals as a teacher is to create a classroom environment where students understand that learning will be taking place and meaningful work will be completed. These are my four classroom expectations:

1. Be respectful.

2. Be prepared.

3. Follow instructions.

4. Do your best!

One important thing to mention: I always tell my students that these expectations apply to the teacher, too.  I will be respectful towards my students, coworkers, administrators, and school families.  I will be prepared when the students arrive for class.  I will follow school policies and instructions from my principal.  And I will do my best!

I think it means so much to students when they hear that teachers set expectations for themselves, as well. It demonstrates to them that it is important for students and teachers to treat others well and work hard.

What expectations do you have for yourself as the teacher in the classroom?


Starting the Year with Lab Safety

I know most junior high students would like to begin the year with explosive lab experiments, but teaching lab safety is a top priority for me.  I have developed a list of lab safety rules that I use in my classroom.  (I posted them here.)

Each year, I discuss and review lab safety rules with students.  Students are then given a copy of my lab expectations to sign and must also get a parent signature.  I keep these signed Lab Safety Contracts in a file throughout the year.

I then provide students with scenarios in which they must identify lab safety rules that are not being followed.  Students explain how the situation should be handled and ways to prevent the problem from occurring in the lab in the first place.

Teaching lab safety is essential for a successful school year.  How do you teach lab safety procedures in your classroom?  I’d love to hear what expectations you have and ways that you teach your students how to be safe in the lab.

When I’m Not Sure What To Do

There are times as a teacher that I simply am not sure how to handle a situation.   What is the best way to help a student struggling to understand a new concept?  How do I reach that student that doesn’t complete assignments?  What solutions do I have for a student disrupting the class?  These challenges are never easy to handle and what works for one student doesn’t always work for another.  In situations like these, I try to think about what the student needs and what I am able to do to help.

Does a struggling student need me to explain the material in a new way?  Is there a website or resource that I could use to give the student a different perspective?

Does the student with missing work need a quiet place to complete homework after school?  Would it be beneficial to do more questions together to help the student get a better grasp on the homework?

Does the student disrupting the class need some positive attention from me at other times of the day?  Is there a way I can catch that student doing something good so I can praise the behavior instead of redirecting him/her again?

All of our students have needs.  The next time I am trying to change a student by wanting him/her to understand more quickly, complete work independently, or behave better, it might be best to ask myself what I can do.  Sometimes, a little help from a teacher can go a long way.

Lab Safety Guidelines

One of the main reasons I enjoy teaching science is because I can give students the opportunity to perform labs and hands-on activities.  Although experiments and activities can be fun, my first concern is that my classroom and lab area are safe for the students.  I have established guidelines which clearly state my expectations for maintaining a safe classroom and lab.  The following rules are included in my Lab Safety Contract:

1.  Laboratory work may only be completed when a teacher is present to supervise.

2.  Perform only those procedures assigned and follow directions completely.

3.  Handle all materials, chemicals, and equipment as instructed by the teacher.

4.  Wear safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, as instructed by the teacher.

5.  Notify the teacher immediately if accidents, spills, or injuries occur.

6.  Appropriate behavior is required in the lab.

7.  Food, drinks, and gum chewing are not allowed in the laboratory.

Lab expectations are discussed at the beginning of the school year and referred to frequently throughout the year as labs are performed.  These expectations are also posted in the lab area.  Making lab safety a priority can help junior high students establish proper laboratory behavior that will be helpful in high school classes and beyond.

Classroom Expectations

Establishing clear guidelines for my students was an important first step to creating the environment I wanted in my junior high classroom.  I chose the following four expectations for behavior and work ethic:

1. Be respectful.

2. Be prepared.

3. Follow instructions.

4. Do your best!

I have used these classroom expectations for several years now and feel they cover most situations that may arise.  Please share what rules or expectations you are using in your classroom!