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As educators, the start of the year is the time that students return to school, and their formal education restarts after a brief break. However, it is also the time when we often have to say goodbye to our old students and welcome new ones. This opens the need to introduce students to routines and procedures to ensure that the educational year proceeds smoothly and no student finds themselves at a loss of how to proceed in between transitions, deadlines, and submission procedures. If you’re a new teacher or are just not sure how routines and procedures are going to be carried out, stick with us and we’ll make you hip hop ready for a hip hop school year.
WHAT ARE CLASSROOM ROUTINES AND PROCEDURES
Classroom procedures and routines are the essential guidelines you teach your students that delineate what actions they are expected to take in classroom events. These include but are not limited to:
- How students should enter and leave the classroom.
- How students are expected to ask questions and answer them.
- How students should greet visitors in the classroom.
- How students should turn in assignments.
- How students should ask for permission.
- How students should pack their belongings at the end of the day.
- The state students should leave their desks and classroom at the end of the day.
- How students should behave in the transition between one class and the next.
- How students should behave when there is no teacher in the classroom.
- How students should interact with one another.
Of course, there can be many more based on the grade you are teaching and the facilities of your classroom and institution. Regardless, the main purpose is to create a set of procedures that students should follow to ensure productive, efficient, and respectable behavior on their part.
WHY YOU NEED CLASSROOM ROUTINES AND PROCEDURES
Apart from the aforementioned reasons, the critical raison d’etre for routines and procedures is to reduce the entropy an uninformed classroom can have. For example, if the students are not informed about how to act between classes, imagine what would happen when the next teacher enters. The students would be scattered doing different things. If the next teacher enters the class, not only would he or she have to spend time to have students in their respective seats, it will also put the added burden to bring students back into a mindset of learning. Doing this between every class would be incredibly inefficient and it would make for a subpar learning and teaching experience.
In contrast, if students know that they need to be seated in their positions with their respective stationary and study materials out. The teacher can use the first few minutes to engage the students and seamlessly move into the teaching material.
HOW TO DEVELOP CLASSROOM ROUTINES AND PROCEDURES
Now that you know why you need classroom routines and procedures, you can now follow these basic steps to start forming them for your class.
- Get your classroom schedule for the entire week in order.
- Mark all points where students are expected to have transition periods or dead time. This is mostly between classes and break times.
- Start making notes about what actions you want students to take during this time. Make rough drafts containing all the factors that you need to account for, such as do they need to pack their bags, should they form groups, should they form a line in a certain order, etc.
- Similarly, you want to make routines for other times such as during a lecture, the beginning of the day, end of the day, group work, independent work etc.
SOME EASY EXAMPLES TO GET YOU STARTED
There are myriad scenarios that can have routines and procedures implemented to them for making them seamless. We provide examples for a few of them to help you get started:
Start Of The Day
The start of the day is an important event that can help students get into the learning mindset. As an example you can use the following routine for it:
- Enter the classroom (if the teacher is there, greet her) and move straight to your desk.
- Unpack your essentials, such as books, stationery, and homework.
- Turn in your homework to the designated submission place (homework tray or folder).
- Wait for the teacher and greet them.
End of the Day
Students can be very excited to leave their desks as soon as the final period ends. This can be a bit haphazard and you may want to regulate this. You can use the following routine:
- Pack your bags when the final class ends.
- Wait for the teacher to call your table or start by order (the last table first etc.)
- Stand up and push your table in the chair.
- Walk outside with your belongings while saying goodbye to your teacher.
- The last person to leave will shut the door and turn off the lights.
Some In Class Procedures
We also mention some in-class procedures that are good practices for students:
- Asking and answering questions: Raise your hands and wait for the teacher to call your name before you answer.
- Lending Stationary or Book: Rather than walking across the classroom to lend a missing book or stationery, pass it to the desk next to you which will do the same until it reaches the student who needs it.
- Leaving Class: Form a line before you leave.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
You may want to organize as many classroom activities into procedures and routines but be careful to only target the absolutely necessary ones. Students may find it hard to follow a large number of procedures which might end up having the opposite effect by confusing them. Make sure to spend an ample amount of time to teach students the procedures such that they can carry them out without your supervision.