Post date: Jul 7, 2017 12:11:23 AM

by: Jerico Venedict Valdez Nazareno

School and classroom rules are set of accepted principles or instructions that state the way things are or should be done, and provide information on what are and are not allowed to do. They are the framework for the overall management of a school, established to create a safe and conducive to learning environment. When the rules are in place, the success of school and classroom management greatly relies on how effective the implementation of those rules is. Effective implementation of rules, whether school-wide rules or simply classroom rules, requires the iterative processes of PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA).

1. Plan

The first and foremost stage in the implementation of rules is planning. Proper planning is the establishment of comprehensive rules, selection of strategic method to use for the execution of the said rules and deliberation for any changes or adjustments needed. The responsibilities, power and rights of all the members of the school community – the administrative personnel, academic personnel and students (and impliedly, the parents), and the applicable consequences of any infractions are integral parts of the rules to be established. Planning shall be done with great diligence in order to lessen, if not avoid, loopholes in the rules and maintain their objectivity upon application.

2. Do

After planning comes the execution. In order to apply the established rules or the changes needed, they shall be communicated through the functional units/departments of the school within a hierarchical structure. School and classroom rules and major changes on them are usually published in the school’s rules and regulations handbook and/or students’ handbook, and are generally explained during the school orientation. On the other hand, the minor adjustments needed are commonly stated in the school memos or letters to the parents, but some classroom rules are given verbally which are mutually agreed upon by the educators and the students.

As the school is composed of different functional units/departments, each unit/department has a leader which often refers to as the department head. The department heads shall ensure that all the rules, whether written or verbal rules, and other related information are clearly understood at all levels. They shall provide the right direction, sufficient motivation and tireless support to all their subordinates and any members of the school community. This however, does not give immunity to the department heads from the rules, especially when infraction is committed. The rules shall be applied to all the members of the school community, including the department heads. In fact, the department heads shall serve as role models to their subordinates and that they shall lead by example. They shall also build reputations of consistency and fairness in order for them to lead their subordinates in the positive direction.

3. Check

Planning and execution without proper monitoring the progress is just a futile effort and a waste of resources. Thus, checking is equally important as the other stages of the implementation of school and classroom rules.

Among the many responsibilities of the department heads, monitoring is one of them. The department heads shall employ strategic method to efficiently monitor the adherence to the rules of their subordinates. They shall regularly supervise and evaluate their subordinates. By close monitoring, problems can be easily identified and rectified before they can get out of hand. The department heads shall also ensure that all their observations, incidents and recommendations are recorded accordingly, and they shall be communicated to the relevant persons. It is important that the department heads maintain confidentiality.

4. Act

Upon evaluation, problems or issues to be addressed are identified. Then, recommendations are presented and discussed to relevant persons. These recommendations are the corrective actions to be done both for disobedience and ineffective rules. In case of disobedience or any infractions, the corrective actions shall not be strictly punitive in nature, but rather more of constructive sorts. People, especially the students, will be more willing to do the recommendations or corrective actions if positive impact on them is evident. On the other hand, if the corrective actions are for the ineffective rules, thorough studies shall be done before any necessary adjustments to avoid the recurrence of previous problems.

Since the effective implementation of rules requires the iterative processes of PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT (PDCA), it is understandable that planning is the next step after the corrective actions are presented. The execution of the corrective actions shall be properly planned; corrective actions shall be applied; and implementation shall be monitored. Ultimately, PDCA should be repeatedly implemented in spirals of increasing realization of the goals of the school, each cycle closer than the previous. This approach is based on the belief that the rules or the implementation of the said rules may have limitations and challenges, but improving continuously.