School Rocks

Since I literally have the most creative, brightest, college students in the world, I've asked them to join Upcycled Education and blog with me.  Please welcome, our newest student blogger:  Kim!

About Kim:
I am a parent, educator-in-training, COG Kids Contributor, recycler of almost everything, self-proclaimed artist, craver of all things hot, really awful singer, & very loyal friend.  I'd like to add, Kim is an amazing student. A-MA-ZING.
Kim, take it away...

I wanted to offer an idea related to classroom rules.  Actually, they are more like life rules; they can effectively be applied to any situation.   One of my favorite aspects about these rules is that they call on the student to take total responsibility over his or her learning experience (offering a bit of autonomy….one of Daniel Pink’s crucial factors of motivation). These rules ask the student to be, as opposed to do or don’t do, something.

Further, because I am a total fan of deep, layered meanings, as well as acronyms, my rules spell out ROCK.  ROCK is the perfect word, obviously, because school rocks, students rock, teachers rock!  And (here is the deeper, layered meaning) these rules are the foundation, or ROCK, for students' education, which will in turn be the foundation, or ROCK, for their future….ahhhhh.....layers.

So, without further ado, I present my 4 classroom rules:


Be Respectful…to one another, yourself, and our learning environment (classroom, desks, books, etc.).


Be Orderly …class will be fun and edugaging, but lab sciences do require things are done in a particular order.


Be Curious …ask questions; become actively engaged in your learning. 


Be Kind…the golden rule:  treat others the way you want to be treated.

Although Alfie Kohn may not approve, I will give out ROCK awards at the end of the semester to the students who best exemplify and adhere to our classroom rules (and mantra).  The award will consist of a certificate and a letter of recognition for their academic portfolio.  I know these awards will not motivate the students to follow the rules, but I do believe that genuinely acknowledging a student who has consistently exemplified these "rules" is a nice thing to do; my way of saying "thank you" (and that’s just good manners).

Here is a sample ROCK award certificate, customized with the recipient’s name, that I made using Tagxedo.  This could also be personalized with the shape of the school's mascot.

Do you see what I mean?  Such amazing students like Kim.  Thank you, Kim.  You ROCK, too.