Setting Expectations: Community Contract

It is best to set up student and classroom expectations in your very first lesson to establish common ground rules among the group. Make sure to get student input while crafting the rules as a team. Create a community contract through an interactive activity, here’s how:

Use a large piece of flipchart paper to record all the expectations that you and your apprentices agree to. Example: Respect everyone’s opinions, even if you don’t agree, when you want to speak, you must raise your hand, or everyone must participate in the activities, etc. Have each student come up with one expectation and record it on the flip chart paper. Once all the rules have been decided and agreed upon, ask students to complete the contract by signing their name at the bottom. Post the flip chart in the classroom everyday as a visual reminder to students of community expectations.

Don’t be afraid to remind students of the expectations and consequences for not meeting them. Use phrases like, “Remember we all agreed on the rules, let’s take a minute to review them for those of you who are having trouble understanding them.”

It is important to show that you are not afraid to use a penalty system for problem apprentices during the first few weeks. Ask your team leader for more information about the penalty system on your campus, in addition, gather input from your apprentices about what consequences are appropriate for not meeting certain expectations that have been agreed upon by the group. You will be tested and need to show that you mean business, sooner rather than later.

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