Do you create a class handbook each year? I don't mean a school handbook with district policies, school hours, and lunch prices. I mean your very own handbook for your classroom. I can't remember when I created my first handbook, but I've found it to be worth every sheet of paper from my meager paper allotment! In fact, I think class handbooks are so important that I'm going to share my own class handbook and cover with you to customize and make your own!
You might be wondering why you would want to create a class handbook when your school already has one. However, school handbooks only cover general topics and policies, but your class handbook will be personalized with the information that concerns your classroom and your students only. You'll find that it serves three useful purposes:
- as an introduction for your students about your expectations
- as your first form of written communication with their parents
- as a reference for both students and parents throughout the year
Putting together a class handbook can be a bit time-consuming at first, but it's worth the effort because it makes you think through every single policy in your classroom, from how you handle late homework to how you handle discipline problems. It also shows both students and parents just how much you care!
Some of the topics in my handbook include:
* a welcome letter to parents that includes my contact information
* a description of my expectations and policies in each subject area
* my homework policies including late or missing homework procedures
* a place for students to write the names of all their classmates
* lunch times and times for special classes like art, music, and PE
* parent volunteer policies
If you already have a class handbook, what topics do you cover? Please share your ideas because your comments may inspire others to add new categories to their own handbooks!
Laura Candler ~ Teaching Resources