Hard to believe, but this is already my 18th year of teaching. When you have been doing something for many years that seems to work, there is little incentive to change it. For the past 15 years, I know my syllabus that I hand out to every student always had the same rules it. They were very Harry Wong inspired, as in there were exactly 5 rules: Be respectful to others, Be respectful to things, Be responsible, Do your own work, Be on Time. I think Dr. Wong would even be impressed that I also identified for students procedures and expectations.
Last summer, as my family was having dinner, and a couple of brews, at Surley in Minneapolis, I was perusing the beer menu and I came across this at the top of their menu. It says at the top "The Beer is what matters most, above everything else." Their philosophy states: "Make great beer. Have fun. Give a damn about your community. Be independent. Don't be a dick."
This philosophy really resonated with me and I was inspired to rethink my classroom rules. Here is what I came up, of course I had to change some of the words/topics to fit a classroom, but I think they work well. I even posted them on 3 of the 4 walls in my room. I haven't posted them in quite some time. I know... I could hear Dr. Wong saying they needed to be posted. So, Here they are:
Learning matters most, above everything else!
- 1. Be open to, and ready for, learning every day.
- 2. Have fun.
- 3. Care about your school and community.
- 4. Be independent.
- 5. Don't be rude.
Note: This blog post was my first attempt at blogging and appeared on my old blog site on 9/6/16. Blogging didn't stick right away.