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Depending on your experience, history, and behavior knowledge, small issues can quickly expand to more significant problems if left unchecked, according to expert Dona Matthews.

But teaching methods in the classroom, including classroom routines, is an excellent way to ensure your class runs smoothly – without any bumps in the road. A list of 35 classroom procedures can spell the difference between consistency at school and chaos. Provided you pick something that suits you and your students, of course. With documented and decided procedures behind you, everything else will go far more swimmingly.

Here are 35 classroom procedures you may want to consider to establish those all-important rules for your students:

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1. Entering the classroom

  • Keep your voice down when entering the classroom
  • Remove hats and coats as needed
  • Sit in your seat, ready for class to begin

2. Leaving the classroom

  • Telling the teacher why you are leaving
  • Not being loud or disruptive when leaving
  • Not pushing and shoving to get out the door

3. Standing in line

  • Stand quietly, facing forward, and wait for your teacher
  • Take all items and clothing necessary with you
  • Watch where you are standing concerning others

4. Starting class in the morning

  • Enter the classroom quietly without pushing
  • Put away outside clothing and lunch
  • Sit at your desk, ready for learning to begin

5. Finishing class in the evening

  • Cleaning and tidying your desk
  • Setting out materials for the next day
  • Collecting backpacks, lunch bags, and homework ready to leave

6. Managing materials and supplies

  • Always share group supplies equally with other students
  • Ensure all markers, glue and pens have caps on
  • Put away all materials in the correct storage location after a session

7. Group circles

  • Sit with your legs crossed instead of on your knees
  • Raise your hand if you would like to contribute
  • Listen carefully to both the teacher and other students

8. Getting help from others

  • Ask students in your group for additional guidance before asking the teacher
  • Raise your hand if you need extra help from the teacher for solo work
  • Don’t shout or talk over others when asking for help

9. Handing in classwork and homework

  • Check that your name is written on all work
  • Place finished work in the correct basket
  • Write your full name instead of just your first name to avoid confusion

10. Managing unfinished projects

  • Let the teacher know about unfinished work that was meant to be turned in
  • Keep unfinished work safely in your workbook
  • For projects with physical components such as crafts, ensure these are labeled and stored correctly at the end of the session

11. Bathroom etiquette

  • Raise your hand and ask to use the restroom – never leave unless it is a real emergency
  • Use the bathroom promptly and return to class as quickly as possible
  • Leave and enter the classroom quietly and politely to avoid disruption

12. Using sinks or drinking fountains

  • You can keep a water bottle on your desk and drink from it at any time
  • You must ask permission to use the water fountain during group teaching
  • Clean up any spillages immediately before returning to your desk

13. Transitioning from one lesson to another

  • You must be ready for the next phase of the class by the time the hourglass runs out
  • Put away all of the work from the last class and sit ready to listen
  • Ensure your desk area is clean and tidy if you need to be at your desk for the next lesson

14. Lost stationery

  • All pencils are numbered and must be returned to the numbered slot on the teacher’s desk
  • All rulers must always be in sight on the top of the desk
  • If you lose your pencil, raise your hand, and the teacher will supply you with a new one

15. Keeping technology out of the classroom

  • All mobile devices must be handed to the teacher at the start of class
  • Mobile phones must be turned off before they are handed in
  • Line up neatly and quietly to collect your mobiles at the end of the day

16. Immediate attention

  • Raise one finger if you need the bathroom
  • Raise your hand for help with classwork
  • Stand and raise your closed hand for an emergency

17. Preparing for lunchtime

  • Line up in order quietly for your lunch
  • Take everything you need from the classroom for lunch
  • Behave responsibly in the lunchroom and throw away all your rubbish before leaving

18. Classroom jobs

  • Speak to the student last assigned your work to learn how to do it
  • Read the job description part provided and ask the teacher if you need more information
  • Remember to fulfill your job duties throughout the week

19. Hallway routine

  • Whisper and walk quickly if you are in the hallway for a purpose
  • Do not stop and talk in the hallway, where you can be a blockage to other students
  • Use indoor voices and walk instead of running when going from one activity to another

20. Absences

  • Absent students should complete homework provided via email if possible
  • Students with planned absences should take classwork home with them to complete
  • Serious absences will not require homework to be completed, but students must then catch up following their return to school

21. Substitute guidelines

  • Following the directions of the substitute as you would your teacher
  • Use all class procedures that are typically used in the classroom
  • Be respectful and friendly to your substitute teacher

22. Class library use

  • Return one book every time you check out a book
  • Ensure that any materials are returned to the place you picked them out from
  • Don’t leave the library area a mess – tidy up after yourself, and ask others to do the same

23. Greeting visitors

  • If you are the closest to the door, you may greet the person entering if you know them by name
  • Do not shout about visitors across the classroom
  • Respond politely to questions from visitors in the same way you would respond to your teacher

24. Taking attendance

  • Students must sit at their desks silently to attendance
  • When your name is called, answer both by saying present and standing up
  • If someone is absent, do not shout the reason why – instead, raise your hand and wait for the teacher to permit you to speak once attendance is complete

25. Packing up

  • Designating one person from each group to put away supplies if working in groups
  • Packing personal materials and belongings into their backpack
  • Stacking chairs and standing in a neat line to wait for the end-of-day bell

26. Instruction and directions

  • Students should be fully paying attention to the teacher and taking notes if required
  • To use the bathroom or ask a question, you must raise your hand to ask permission
  • Do not talk over the teacher or talk to other students instead, watch carefully

27. Completing work early

  • If you’ve completed your work early, hand it into the teacher for checking
  • Use the enrichment box or complete other projects
  • Do not talk to or distract other students who are still working

28. Free study periods

  • Use your time to visit educational websites like GoNoodle, National Geographic, Bill Nye, or Mystery Science
  • Use the classroom library to find new books to read, sticking to the library class procedure
  • Work quietly on group projects with other students in your class

29. Drills and alarms

  • In the case of an alarm, leave the classroom calmly and quickly
  • Do not stop to bring any personal belongings or items with you; instead, make your way immediately to the designated safe area
  • Stick to your class and answer the attendance register loudly and both by raising your hand and saying ‘present’

30. Exams and testing

  • Collect all the items you need for our test ahead of time, such as a pencil and ruler, and place them on your desk
  • Sit quietly at your desk and await specific instructions from the teacher
  • Should you need to use the bathroom or get water, put your hand up and wait for the teacher to come to you

31. Cleaning the classroom

  • Trash can be thrown away whenever required if the entire class is not currently being taught. If this is the case, wait until teaching has ended
  • Any recycling such as cans, paper, and cardboard should be put in the appropriate recycling bin, not the general waste bin
  • Do not play with trash, and ensure no garbage is left on the floor

32. Lost items

  • If you have lost an item, ask the students around you to see if they have found it
  • If you have located a lost item, return it to the owner as quickly as possible
  • Use the lost and found box both to store lost items and locate lost items after speaking to classmates and before asking the teacher

33. Helping others

  • If a fellow student requires help or direction, you should provide this providing the whole class is not currently listening to the instruction
  • If a student requires further help, direct them to ask the teacher
  • Never say no to students that need help. Instead, provide a solution so everyone can keep helping each other in class.

34. Hygiene

  • Spillages and waste should be cleaned up as soon as they are noticed. In case you cannot clean it yourself, you should notify the teacher
  • Make sure you wash your hands following touching anything on the floor or anything sticky like glue
  • Do not put communal materials or stationery in or around your mouth, ears, or nose

35. Keeping the classroom neat

  • If desks and tables are moved for group work, these should be restored to their original positions following that activity
  • All books, toys, and educational tools should be placed in their correct location once you have finished using them
  • Desks should be clean, clear, and paper-free, aside from the materials you are currently using

With the practical application of class procedures, helping your students understand your classroom’s do’s and don’ts is easier than ever. According to Julie of Make, Take, and Teach, it might be the most important thing you do as a teacher. While deciding upon your own rules and plans may seem an uphill struggle, it’s more than worth it for the positive outcome.