As a student, I always hated "THE RULES". Of course, without rules life would be chaos, but there was always a part of me that resented being told what to do! Even as a teacher, I resist saying "Follow the rules". Instead, I ask my students to "Fulfill my expectations".
My expectations for my students are really still rules and guidelines for their behavior, but they are stated in a positive way and they provide consistency in discipline. They are consistent because they never change from grades K-6. They are positive because they are stated in a way that describes the behavior that I expect from them when they are in my room.
- Try our best always.
- Respect others by listening and taking turns.
- Keep our hands and feet to ourselves.
Privilege the students earn by fulfilling my expectations: They are allowed to choose their own seats.
Consequence of the students not fulfilling my expectations: I choose their seat for them, which will undoubtedly be closer to me and further away from their friends.
If need be, the entire class could lose their privilege of choosing seats, and I would make a class seating chart for the rest of the school year. At that point, the consequence for not fulfilling my expectations would be an office referral.