Explain the way is which you would establish ground rules with your learners and which underpin behaviour and respect for others.
Ground rules should be regarded as the minimum conditions that need to be established early in the formation of a group to establish an environment that enables learning to take place in the classroom. The learners must feel safe to express their views and make mistakes in a confidential, relaxed and congenial atmosphere. It is up to the teacher to establish an appropriate culture within the group, based on one of mutual respect.
Ideally the ground rules should be suggested by members of the group allowing all the learners to add and negotiate, and understand what is expected. They could be written down during the discussion and whilst this is being done, the teacher must ensure that all the students are included in the discussion illustrating an important rule that all the students are happy to express their opinions and that each person’s contribution is heard and valued. This exercise will actually ‘model’ the way in which future discussions should take place. On the other hand the rule-setting could be tutor-led. In this case they should be stated verbally or provided to the learners on a handout or PowerPoint, with the teacher allowing opportunity for the learners to respond, add or negotiate the ‘rules’.
It is important that the teacher also openly sets ground rules for themselves. For example the teacher will start and end the lessons on time, will arrive ready and be well prepared, and that assignments will be returned with useful feedback to the student in a set time.