Class Management Overview
Guidelines for Establishing Class Rules
- Student Centered – Facilitate the creation of the rules by the students in the beginning of the semester. Ask them what they want and what they consider to be fair. You will generally end up with the same rules that you would make, however this method allows students take ownership of the rules. One creative way is to conduct an "Us/Not Us" list. Have the students come up with characteristics that want in the "Us" column and characteristics they don't want in the "Not Us" column.
- Positive – State the behaviors you want to see in your students, rather than what you don't want to see. Saying “Don’t do X” does not tell the student what the appropriate behavior is.
- Give the "Why" – Explain the reasons behind each rule so that students understand the rules and why they are important.
- Limited – Instead of making a long list of rules, make the rules comprehensive. “Be respectful” is a great example. Think of how many rules can be covered in this one statement. Some other examples include: Be helpful to others; Be positive to others; Be responsible; Be honest; Resolve conflicts immediately; and Give 100% effort. Find a list of other important virtues at Edutopia, 52virtues.com, Values.com, and WingClips.
- Clear – Identify behaviors that are representative of each rule (see our unpacking of "sportspersonship" below).
Example of Clear Expectations - What Behaviors are Included in Sportspersonship?
Positive Discipline Approaches
Guidelines for Disciplinary Action (if needed)
- Alternatives to Using Exercise as Punishment. Rosenthal, M., Pagnano-Richardson, K., & Burak, L. (2010). JOPERD, 81(5), 44-48: “Punishment or punitive feedback is discouraged by scholars in sport psychology (Smith, 2006) and by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (2004), the Women’s Sports Foundation (2007), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997), and the American Sport Education Program (ASEP, 2007). The recommended way to change negative behaviors is not to reinforce it at all, but to reinforce desired behaviors (Smith). Reinforcement of desired behaviors clearly shows students and athletes the positive consequences of their behaviors and, if practiced consistently, can lead to the elimination of many undesired behaviors.”
Things to Consider ("The Hidden Student")
1. Students' brain development affects their decision making.
2. There are many outside factors that affect student behavior. In the examples to the left and right, former students wrote down issues that they or someone they knew were going through. Their responses were then categorized and entered in Wordle. This activity was personal to the class and allowed students to recognize the many issues their peers face.
Additional Resources and Articles
Resources for this page:
- Graham, G. (2008). Teaching Children Physical Education: Becoming a Master Teacher. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
- Graham, G., Holt/Hale, S., & Parker, M. (2007). Children Moving: A Reflective Approach to Teaching Physical Education. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Himberg, C., Hutchinson, G., & Roussell, J. (2003). Teaching Secondary Physical Education: Preparing Adolescents to Be Active for Life. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.