I work at the most amazing school ever. No really, I do! But it didn’t get that way by accident. Our school culture is one built on respect and acceptance, and these things are expected and encouraged by all the adults that work here. Our school has Road Rules that help our students (and teachers) know how they are to act, and our staff then has another specific set of norms that we follow in our interactions with each other. My team, then, has also agreed upon norms for our collaboration.
So the next step would be my own classroom, right? This year, instead of focusing on class “rules,” I had a conversation around norms with my students. We discussed how norms help us know how to talk to each other, how to act in a group, how we want our room to function.
We started by reviewing the Road Rules, since they are the universals for our school, and everything we do in our room should relate to them. In our tribes, we brainstormed ideas. Then we shared out and began the big job of weeding through all the suggestions. We looked at any norms that were similar or even the same as others, or ones that maybe just were not our best thinking. Here’s what we ended up with:
And then since we needed a fresh copy that we could easily read (and that matched our theme!), I made the final copy that now hangs next to our meeting space:
These norms help us work together smoothly and productively, and since they were everyone’s ideas, no one can really argue with them! They’re helping us do great things already!
What norms do you follow in your school or your classroom? Parents: do you have norms for your house? How are they working for you?