Classroom Rules in Virtual Classrooms

We have all seen sets of classroom rules coming out as teachers around the country are getting ready to start the year with at least some virtual classes. “No pajamas” “No eating” “No laying down” and “Hair and teeth brushed” are just some of the more problematic ones that we’ve seen. Educators, please keep a few things in mind while establishing expectations for an online learning environment: 1) it is online, don’t overreach and try to regulate a child’s home 2) keep expectations to those things that will actually matter to the success of all involved — if johnny does not wash his hair, it will not likely prevent anyone else from engaging; and 3) keep in mind that rules only work to the degree that you can enforce them — it’s time for us to think very differently about the typical punishment dynamic of sending a child home for non-compliance.

Students are volunteers, whether we want them to be or not. Their attendance can be commanded, but their attention must be earned. Their compliance can be insisted upon, but their commitment is under their own control.

— Phillip Schlechty is dedicated to improving organizational effectiveness through equity, focusing on education, health care, and government.