Classroom Behavior Policy

San Jose Math Circle Policy: Classroom Behavior.

We strive to make our math circle a welcoming, enjoyable and safe environment for learning and doing mathematics. Students who act in a manner that undermines this goal will be asked to leave.
For parents: Please read our policy below and discuss it with your child before the first math circle meeting.
For students: Please read our policy below and make sure you understand it.

We expect all our students to act respectfully toward both their fellow students and the teachers who lead the class. We expect our students to know how to behave properly in class.

There are two specific issues addressed in this policy statement: talking in class and bullying.

Students must not make derogatory comments about other students. Name-calling, unwelcome teasing, and bullying will not be tolerated. While we may try to handle incidents on a case-by-case basis, students who engage in this type of behavior leave us almost no choice other than to remove them from our classroom (suspension or expulsion).

Specifics about talking in class:
Our math circle frequently encourages an informal and open exchange of mathematical ideas among students. Students are expected, when indicated by the instructor, to work with other students in small groups on the mathematical material presented. At other times, while a teacher is lecturing, students should raise their hand if they wish to speak. Students should not talk while the teacher is talking so that everyone can hear what is being said.

Specifics about bullying:
We expect all of our students:

  • To NOT take pens, pencils, notebooks or anything else from other students.
  • To NOT push, shove, or make other intimidating or rude gestures to others.
  • To NOT say insulting, mean or hurtful things to other students.
What to do if someone is bothering you:
  • If someone does or says anything that hurts you or makes you feel bad, tell them what they are doing wrong and ask them to stop.
  • If they don’t stop the bad behavior when you ask, that proves the act is intentional and not simply a mistake. You do not need to ask more than once.
  • You may also ask them to apologize. If they apologize, accept the apology and consider the situation resolved.
It is important that if you are the victim of disrespectful actions that you NOT try to fight back or retaliate. While it is tempting to fight back, it is the wrong thing to do in our classroom. Fighting back almost always makes a bad situation worse. The teacher and other adults in the room are responsible for maintaining order and making sure you are treated with respect. Help the adults handle the problem by letting them know about the problem.

If someone is bothering, insulting or hurting you and won’t stop when asked, here are a few appropriate things you can do:

  1. We allow students to leave the classroom at any time. Usually there is an adult sitting near the door — tell them on your way out that you need to talk to them outside the classroom. Please explain to them what happened and who was involved.
    You do not need anyone's permission to leave the classroom. If you don't feel like talking with an adult at the time you don't have to, but it will help us resolve the situation.
  2. Another possibility is to move to another seat in the classroom away from the person causing the problem. When this works, it is only a temporary solution. Please report the problem to an adult as soon as possible.
  3. Any time you experience bullying, no matter where it occurs, you should tell your mom, dad, or guardian. Usually they will know how to handle it. If they don’t address the problem promptly, you should report it to another responsible adult, like a school guidance counselor.
  4. If you see someone else being harassed or bullied you should report it to an adult. A socially responsible person helps others when possible. When you don’t help, the problem gets worse.
This short list is not complete. Books and articles are available at local libraries and on the Internet that may have helpful suggestions for dealing with obnoxious or threatening behavior from other people.