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School Rules

I went into the school this week to check out my classroom. It’s a nice sized room and I’m so excited to decorate it and make it inviting for the kids who will be studying in there. I got a tour of the school and saw some amazing rooms that teachers had painted, stenciled, and decorated with plants, curtains, rugs, and other personal touches. I don’t have such lofty aspirations, but I did put fresh paper on my bulletin board and a couple posters on the walls. But the biggest change I made was in taking down the rules.

Whatever teacher was in the room last year had TWENTY posters of rules on the walls. For the most part, all those rules could be summed up with Be Responsible and Be Respectful. I’m not sure why this teacher had so many rules adorning her walls, but from what I’ve heard about her, she did a fabulous job motivating the kids in her class until she retired. I may have never worked in a school, but I know kids and I know that if you blabber on with rule after rule, eventually they’re going to tune out. And some of these rules . . . whew! They’re doozies! Check out a few of my favorites…


  • RULE 2 1 of 11
    RULE 2
    I'm not sure how things are today, but saying, "Hi, Mrs. Anderson! Good afternoon, Mr. Smith! Hello, Miss Jones!" while walking through the hallways would've given you instant nerd status back in my day. I do like the random capitalization and missing punctuation, however.
  • RULE 3 2 of 11
    RULE 3
    Heaven help the kid with ADHD in this class.
  • RULE 4 3 of 11
    RULE 4
    Maybe this is a southern thing, but I think "yes" and "no" is sufficient. Using "ma'am" and "sir" is almost an insult where I'm from.
  • RULE 6 4 of 11
    RULE 6
    Yes, this rule makes sense, but these are junior high aged kids we're talking about here. Why take up precious wall space with a poster about covering your mouth? If they don't know to cover their mouth when they sneeze by age 12, I'm not sure they'll ever learn.
  • RULE 7 5 of 11
    RULE 7
    ...or even more worrisome is the incorrect use of the word "then" by a teacher.
  • RULE 9 6 of 11
    RULE 9
    So, if the teacher hands out an assignment and the student doesn't thank her within 3 seconds, do you think she takes it back?
  • RULE 13 7 of 11
    RULE 13
    I don't have a clue what this means, but in junior high, shouldn't kids be able to understand the concept of "talk quietly"?
  • RULE 15 8 of 11
    RULE 15
    Here's my new rule to replace this one - Less is More. Stop talking already!
  • RULE 16 9 of 11
    RULE 16
    Can you imagine explaining this one to the principal? "Why were you sent here, Johnny?" "My teacher said I didn't clap loudly enough."
  • RULE 17 10 of 11
    RULE 17
    Ummm, what's with the random hearts? Is this a class rule or a note written to someone's boyfriend?
  • RULE 20 11 of 11
    RULE 20
    My replacement rule is this - Learn When it's Appropriate to Use "Lie" and "Lay". They are not interchangeable and they have vastly different meanings.

I’m replacing those gems with posters of famous, successful people who struggled in school and/or were told they were failures, but persevered and succeeded despite their rocky starts.

Buy my book! It will give you super-powers.

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image: Flickr

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