Research suggests that starting each year by teaching rules and procedures results in increased appropriate conduct and higher academic achievement. Both rules and procedures are proactive strategies that set expectations and instruct students on both appropriate and unacceptable ways to interact with peers and adults. Clearly stated, they define and operationalize acceptable behavior necessary to maintain an orderly and well-functioning school or classroom. To be effective, each precept must specify consequences, describing what happens when it are followed or is broken. Rules and procedures must be enforced consistently if they are to produce best results. When expectations are clearly stated and supported, they lend credibility to a teacher’s authority, reduce disruptive behavior that impedes learning, and enhance job satisfaction. Rules are constructed around broad classes of behavior (be safe, be responsible, be respectful) and apply in all settings. Procedures are guidance about what to do in a specific context. For example, elementary schools have procedures to guide students in how to enter the class in the morning (put backpack away, take a book, and read silently at desk).
Citation: Guinness, K., Detrich, R., Keyworth, R. & States, J. (2020). Overview of Rules and Procedures. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/classroom-rules-procedures.