Early in the season, you want to establish Team Rules. Here are some tips about how to use the Team Rules:
- These should be kid generated. Let the kids come up with their own rules in their own words.
- I often read a book to them about manners or team work beforehand to help them come up with ideas. I like the book “Do Unto Otters,” but you can use any book that talks about treating each other with kindness and respect.
- Write them down on a poster board or a piece of paper that you will bring to every meeting. Title them with their team name “The Wattlesnakes’ Team Rules”
- Review or post the rules at the beginning of every meeting. If you review them regularly, the kids will start to embody them and eventually will start to police themselves. If you ignore them, the kids will ignore them and the rules will be of no use to you.
- If the kids break the rules, redirect everyone’s attention back to the rules and ask them “What rule are we ignoring right now?” Let the kids identify the problematic behavior. They are more likely to fix the it if they are the ones who identified it as a problem.
The TM is allowed to add their own “house rules.” These can be added to the students’ list or can be a separate list (aka “Ms. Emily’s House Rules”). Here are some rules that I added:
- Do not touch the [fill in the blank]
- Indoor voices when we are indoors
- You many not enter the guest bedroom or the media room
- Do not play with the dog during work sessions (during play time is fine)
- Snacks are only eaten in the kitchen
- The last person at the hot gun glue table is responsible for unplugging the hot glue gun EVERY SINGLE TIME!
- Shoes off at the door
- (When walking home…) – Wait for me at the corner; we cross the street together. Look both ways before crossing the alley. Wait for me on the front porch. Do not enter the house until I have given you instructions and let you in.