I’ll be honest. When I think of a syllabus I immediately think of my college courses. I think about this long, multi-page document that outlined absolutely everything I’d need to have due, and when, for an entire semester. That does NOT sound like anything I would want to do (or even realistically be able to do) in a middle school math classroom.
I don’t think a long winded, overly detailed syllabus has a real place in a middle school classroom. Students who are 11 – 13 years old won’t read it and honestly, their parents probably won’t either. They don’t need to know every single thing you have planned for the school year either. What if plans change? You’ll for sure have that one kid (or parent) who will hold you to that original syllabus.
There is however, a place for a quick overview of the class and your expectations. The most important information you can give your new students is the materials they’ll need, the grading scale, your rules/expectations/procedures and how to get in touch with you.
Since building relationships with your students will be the KEY to your classroom management throughout the year, a simple “Meet the Teacher” sheet can also go home – even copied onto the back of the syllabus. Let your students know WHO YOU ARE! Let them know you are a human with likes, dislikes and hobbies. You don’t have to tell them your age or where you live obviously but sharing things like your favorite sport, favorite/least favorite food, etc. can be a simple and effective way to help you make connections with your students. You can even have students create their own version of the Meet The Teacher (aka a Meet The Student) page and make a bulletin board about it!
Taking a few extra minutes to prepare a simple syllabus and informative page about YOU can really go a long way in setting your classroom off on the right foot for a fabulous year!
If you’d like to download free EDITABLE Syllabus, Meet the Teacher and matching Meet the Student forms, enter your email address below! As a bonus, you’ll also receive emails from me with additional free resources, sale info, teacher tips and more! If you own my Back to School Math Escape activity, you already have two of the three templates! They come from Challenges A and B! 🙂