I'm creating one as well, and it will be similar to everyone else's. But I won't be printing, copying and distributing mine, it will just live on the web and I'm going to ask students and parents to read it before school starts (via an email sent to the parents that I'll ask them to share with their student).
But I also wanted mine to be a little different in another way. Many of the course expectations from my school that I looked at when brainstorming what I wanted on mine included phrases such as:
No food, drinks or hats are allowed in the classroom.It's not that I necessarily disagree with their policies, although I do with the points off for tardies and the late work policy, and I certainly don't approve of academic dishonesty. I guess what I didn't like was the overall tone of the course expectations. While about half of each course expectation was tone-neutral (essentially informative), the other half of each of them seemed very negative to me. They seemed to be listing all the ways kids could mess up in their class and what the penalty was for each type of infraction.
Any academic dishonesty as defined in your school calendar will result in a zero grade.
Three attendance points will be lost for each tardy.
Late homework will not be accepted.
That troubles me for two reasons. First, it seems like the basic assumption is that students are going to be a problem, so let's make sure we identify all the punishments up front. Now, I'm certainly all for transparency, and stating these policies up front is certainly transparent. But my basic assumption is that students are going to do the right thing most of the time, so I don't want my course expectations to focus on the outlier events.
Second, it troubles me because, in many respects, the course expectations are my first impression on my students and their parents. I don't want my course expectations to send the message that I think they're going to mess up, I want my course expectations to be welcoming, informative, and perhaps begin to convey a little bit of my philosophy. I realize I may be over-thinking this a bit, but you never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and I want mine to match what I hope my classroom is going to be like.
So, here's the current draft of my course expectations. I would really appreciate any feedback you're willing to give.