There are times when teachers need to control what their students do and say. Setting limits in the classroom is a strategy that teachers can use to influence their student's behavior.
Children especially teenagers who have limits set on their behavior and who experience consequences have the advantage of learning self-control and good judgement.
To set limits teachers need to be clear about what they expect and what is acceptable from their students. Setting limits work best when you have a good relationship with each student. What I mean by this is when you have a strong and positive relationship built on trust, it's more likely that your students will accept and understand your reasons for setting limits on their behavior. It's much harder to influence a child if you are constantly arguing, correcting and criticising them.
A good way to set limits is to have a clear set of classroom rules. They make it easier for your students to behave in ways that meet your expectations. Excellent rules clearly state what behavior is expected. It also helps to write the rules down and display them where they can be a reminder to everyone in the classroom.
You can use classroom rules for two things. Firstly they can outline your expectation as a teacher for specific behaviors. For example, if you want to teach your students how to show respect for others, the classroom rule would state that everyone is expected to speak and treat others with courtesy and to honor others by using manners and asking permission before touching other people's property.
Ideas To Make Rules Work...
Children are more likely to follow a rule if it is specific and easy to understand. When you are thinking about how to express a rule, ask yourself the question, "What do I want this student, or this class, to do differently/better in this situation?" Keep the words simple and the rule short. This will make it easier to remember.
As children show more responsibility, the classroom rules need to change. Take a rule off the written list when everyone follows it automatically. This doesn't mean the rule no longer applies, just that it know longer needs to be written down or displayed in the classroom. While the rules might change the need for rules never do. You see, rules are helpful to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities in the classroom - the willingness to be accountable for our choices and also for mistakes we make.