The English Teacher Files

Notes from the Classroom Trenches

Classroom Procedures—The Key to a Successful Classroom

on July 21, 2013

2012-10-22 16.38.44

The introductory sentence of my Classroom Procedures page sums up the need for such a document:

In order for a classroom to run smoothly, efficiently, and fairly, the same procedures must be followed by everyone at all times.

A Classroom Procedures document is given to all students at the beginning of the school year. I have extra copies on hand for new students as they arrive throughout the year.

It is very important to have a set of procedures in place that describe everything from how to enter the classroom to how to exit the classroom at the end of the period. I know it seems silly to tell kids that they should enter the classroom in a calm, dignified manner and to take their seats before the tardy bell rings, but there will be one student who will challenge you on this policy if you never told him that he had to enter the room in a clam manner and take his seat.  You may not have recourse on this or other issues if it goes to administration and your policy is not in writing.

Students need structure. Students actually want structure in the classroom.  This little procedures guide is a helpful way of acquainting the students with the expectations, but it is an especially helpful guide for parents and administrators as they will be clear on your expectations and they can support you when a student deviates from the procedures.

Here are some categories to consider when creating your own Classroom Procedures:

  1. Guiding Rules
  2. Guiding Procedures
  3. Materials
  4. Announcements
  5. Lecture
  6. Critical Viewing Policies
  7. Attendance
  8. Distributing Graded Materials
  9. Grading and Grading Scale
  10. Teacher Desk, Chair, and Computer
  11. Materials for Class
  12. Heading of Papers
  13. Plagiarism
  14. How Can Students Avoid Plagiarism
  15. Restroom
  16. Food, Drinks, Gum
  17. iPods and Cell Phones
  18. Homework
  19. Closing Transition

Describe in detail the expectation you have for each heading.  For example, under the Materials heading I ask students to bring their notebook, highlighters, a pen or pencil, and completed homework.

Here is an sample of what I have written for Distributing Graded Materials and Grading:

  Distributing Graded Materials

  1. Graded materials are located in the back of the room. Each student will have a personal file where graded work will be filed.  It is up to each student to retrieve these materials periodically.
  2. I will assign teacher’s assistants to file these papers.


I will accept your late work for 50% credit.  After five days, late work is not accepted.  Grades are kept on Aeries at Grades are updated every two weeks.  Please turn in work on time to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date grade. I will return all on-time work no more than two weeks from the day I receive it.  Assignments on Collaborize Classroom cannotbe made up after the due date has passed.  Assignments on this site close at 11:55 P.M. on the due date.   I use the following grading scale:

  • A = 90-100%
  •  B = 80-89%
  •  C = 70-79%
  •  D = 60-69%
  •  F = 59% and below.

As I mentioned in “How to Survive the First Day of High School,” it is important to read through this information with the students on the first day of school.  Be sure to summarize the classroom expectations at the end of the document and provide a signature space for both the student and the parent.

In an effort to conserve paper, I project the four-page document for all students to see while we discuss it in class.  I do, however, make the entire document available on my website for parents to view. The students go home with a one-page summary and signature page.

Here is an unformatted version of my summary and signature page:

Classroom Procedures

Dear Parents,

This is an abbreviated version of our classroom procedures. We have discussed them in class. Please read over the rules with your student. A complete copy of the classroom procedures is available on It is important that your student follows our classroom rules so that our class runs smoothly and each student has a chance to learn.  The following is a summary of what we have discussed in class.

Respect Yourself

  • Demonstrate respect for yourself – maintain dignified behavior.
  • Demonstrate respect for others – treat others as you want them to treat you.
  • Demonstrate respect for property – do your part to keep things clean and pleasant.
  • Turn in late make-up work before the five-day grace period. All late work will be accepted for 50% credit with the exception of Collaborize Classroom assignments for which there is no make-up.

Respect Others

  • Raise your hand to speak.
  • Be polite.
  • Enter the room in a calm, dignified manner. Take your seat.
  • Refrain from using iPods and cell phones during class.  They will be confiscated and taken to security where parents may pick them up.
  • Refrain from bringing food, gum, or drinks to class.
  • Limit trips to the restroom.
  • Carry pass whenever you have permission to leave room during the class period.
  • When the teacher is instructing, listen quietly and take notes.
  • Remain in your seat until the bell.  Standing at the door is not an option.

Needed Materials

  • 70-page spiral notebooks (4 for the entire year)
  • A flash drive
  • Pens and pencils
  • College-ruled notebook paper
  • 3×5 note cards (colored or white)
  • Highlighters (different colors)
  • A donation of a box of tissues, a few pens, or a few pencils is greatly appreciated.  I also use recycled copy paper.  If you would like to donate copy paper that has a clean blank side, I would appreciate that also.  Please be sure there is no sensitive personal information or inappropriate images or words on the other side.

I have some exciting activities planned.  We are going to have a great year!! Please feel free to contact me if there are any concerns.  The school telephone number is (213) 867-5309.  My extension is 123.  My email address is  The classroom website is   Grades can be accessed on Aeries at  The classroom website has all of the access information for grades.  I look forward to teaching your students about all of the wonderful things that literature has to offer.  I look forward to talking with you about your student’s progress.


Victoria Porraz

English Teacher

Wonderful High School


Classroom Procedures for Mrs. Porraz

Student/ Parent Signature


Please sign and return this page.  This is the first assignment of the year. You will earn twelve (12) points on this ten (10) point assignment for bringing this completed page back the next day.  This page will be counted late after the first week of school.

Thank you,

Mrs. Porraz

I have read and discussed the classroom procedures with my student.  We understand that late/absent work is accepted for five days with the exception of Collaborize Classroom assignments for which there is no make-up after the due date.  We understand that iPods and cell phones are not to be used during class.  We understand that food and drinks are not to be brought into the classroom.  We understand that all work is to be completed by the student and that the student will not plagiarize.  We understand that being out of class for an extended period of time will be considered tardy.  We understand that students are to show respect for themselves, as well as other students, and the teacher.  We understand that my student will come to class with all completed assignments and materials.  We understand that an education is a partnership among the student, parent or guardian, and the teacher and we will contact the teacher whenever we have questions or concerns about the success of my student.

Student Name: ____________________________________________________

(Please print student name)


Signature: ________________________________________________________________

Date: __________________________

Parent/Guardian Name(s):_________________________________________________________

(Please print parent/guardian name)


Signature: ________________________________________________________________

Date: _________________________

Email address: ________________________________________________________________

(Please add an email address if you would like to be contacted by email regarding your child’s progress.  Email is the best way for me to make contact with you; however, I will make telephone calls during my prep period or after school.)


I hope this is a helpful document. Please let me know how this works for you 🙂 I am excited to hear about your first day of school.


2 responses to “Classroom Procedures—The Key to a Successful Classroom

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