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The 4th rule in my classroom: NO

Date: May 3rd, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Accepting “no” for an answer, that’s a big one. That’s why I say it’s my fourth rule in my classroom.

The fourth rule in my classroom is, I reserve the bottom line. I say that the first day of school, “This is the way we do business here. You can debate, you can talk, you can question, you can do anything you want, but if I do say the word, ‘no,’ we’re done.” That’s a reasonable request.

By the end of October, when I say the word “no,” the kids are like,”Oh, forget it, she said ‘no,’ we’re done.” A new kid moves in, “Oh, watch out, she said, ‘no’.”

I mean, they make fun of me, but that’s OK. At least they’re hearing it. “No” is a good thing. You’ve got to hear “no.” If you can’t accept the word “no,” you will also struggle being able to say the word “no.” That’s what I’ve seen with kids. If I can’t accept “no,” I have a hard time saying “no.”