Some early childhood professionals find it beneficial to include the children in creating a set of classroom rules or expectations. Some even go as far as to make a classroom constitution or classroom contracts. These can be beneficial to get student feedback and to learn what it is that students value most in their classroom. They spend a great deal of time in child care and may communicate their needs in a community setting by contributing to the creation of classroom rules.
Using a classroom constitution or a collaborative rule-setting process also gives teachers the opportunity to get to know their students better very early on. Each year a new group of students comes to class with different needs and temperaments. Creating rules and expectations together gives teachers a special insight to the children in their classroom and their priorities. It also creates an environment of caring and community that hopefully makes way for a feeling of security and belonging for all students.
Keep in mind that infants and toddlers will have limited inclusion in this type of activity but you can involve parents and children in multiple ways!
- Include photos of the children showing appropriate behavior, transitions, or use of materials.
- Survey parents for behavior goals and supports and include them in your classroom management plans.
- Sing songs and play games to practice certain elements of classroom management.
- Praise positive efforts and don't focus on the undesired behaviors.