While some teachers no longer use the term « rules » in their classrooms, others still use it because they might think about what their classroom would look like without rules. They don`t want a chaotic class, so they prefer to use the « rules » instead of « the deal », I was at first a little confused, but then I had to smile. When I said it was not the rules, but essential agreements, I realized that they were the same for him. […] Time, but it is a delicate and important process in our attempt to understand each other. This blog, from the IB website, is a great resource for those who are interested in formulating essential agreements […] […] A key agreement has been reached in our classroom. He focused on two areas: how we deal with each other and how we […] Search for Google images for « class rules » and « class chords » (or « essential chords, » as they are called in the PYP) and see if anything surprises you… Teachers in some schools are now starting to move from the use of the word « rules » to the use of the word « agreements. » What are the differences between rules and consistency in the classroom? Rules are imposed. They are defined for compliance purposes. Any violation of the rules should be punished in order to obtain the power of the rule.
The rules are « above people. » The place of control is external and teaches us that we do not have power – so we are pushed towards obedience rather than inner motivation. In a PYP school, every class, every team, even the entire school, has an essential agreement that sets the tone for collaboration and teamwork. Otherwise, how could we know what the common standards and expectations are? There are endless opportunities to develop such agreements, and since the start of a new school year in Australia, all our teams and classes have been working on theirs. Our teaching and learning team has an « essential agreement » inspired by this clip: the class insisted that everything was important and that nothing could be lost with this agreement! What I noticed is that despite the title, many class agreements are still lists of rules. Today, Jocelyn and I developed our class agreement.