Classroom rules are fragile. If the rules are poorly written and enforced they mean nothing. I only have three classroom rules; respect yourself, respect each other, and respect the school. The student handbook is inundated with procedural rules about phones and headphones. Unwritten and unspoken rules are generally understood within a high school classroom and can fit under the umbrella of my three classroom rules.

As an agriculture teacher I understand that there are rules that are outside of the normally understood set of school rules to create. At my school I have a foods lab, an animal lab, a shop, and a greenhouse. With these sometimes new and unique spaces the standards for operation to  be set are in order. I base all of these additional rules as safety rules. I follow the model that chemistry and industrial arts use.

The basis for making these rules becomes a lesson and several teaching moments. In foods students gain a better understanding of sanitary procedures by growing mold on bread and researching food illnesses. Students get a more experiential learning experience of rules whenever they allow a chicken from the animal lab to escape their arms. Attempting to catch a chicken in school may sound like a fun senior prank but it’s a whole new ballgame when the proper handling of the chicken is the assignment.

For my foods lab safety I use NASA, FDA, USDA, and Wisconsin’s DATCP websites. For the animal handling rules I reference UW-Extension bulletins.



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