[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Michael Sedler



How do we set boundaries and guidelines without it turning into a power struggle? Is the way we set up rules at the beginning of a year that important? Is there a way to help children understand parameters without getting them frustrated? Finding the balance between rules, guidelines, boundaries, and suggestions can be a difficult one for an educator. We need to be consistent in our approaches, yet flexible in working with each student. This class will challenge each person to evaluate their own personal guidelines and rules for their educational setting. We will investigate various strategies to teach children how to follow rules without them becoming oppositional and defiant. In addition, each educator will be asked to explore ways to modify and negotiate new ways of presenting their educational behavioral plans for students. At the end of this course, each person will have a clearer understanding of their own value system, how it impacts their approach to students, and a more defined process of developing specific classroom/school rules.

This is a course designed for all educators working within the school setting, Preschool through High School.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. Evaluated individual rules in the school as they impact each student.
  2. Presented rules in a way that increases the responsiveness from students.
  3. Helped each child to negotiate their frustrations with boundaries without becoming oppositional.
  4. Applied effective strategies within the classroom to benefit “special needs” children.
  5. Defined rules, give clear examples, practice successful approaches, and integrate these ideas into the classroom/school setting.
  6. Assessed a student need and developed strategies to help increase the success of that child.
  7. Understood the difference between implied rules and specified rules.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



You may choose one from the Bibliography or select a relevant book on your own, with my prior approval.
The Bibliography is located at the end of the syllabus.
Text books may be ordered directly from the publisher (see the list/phone numbers at the back of your manual), on-line, or through bookstores.

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at without charge, once you have registered for this course. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Establishing Rules...”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay in order to order a book from the bibliography. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignment #1: Motivation.

Share what you are hoping to learn in this course. If taking this course in a group, each person should complete this assignment. (1-2 pages)

Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻRules #1.ʼ

Assignment #2: Read the Manual.

Read the entire manual for this course. 
If taking this course in a group, each person should read this manual.

Assignment #3: Complete Worksheets in Manual.

Complete all the worksheets in the manual. 
They are designated with a “Send To Instructor” in bold letters. 
You may scan them or postal mail them.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #3.’

Assignment #4: Read a Chosen Book.

Read a chosen book (from the Bibliography at end of manual or a book of your own choosing) and write a 2-3 page paper about something you learned and/or something you didnʼt know before. Two books of particular interest are highlighted on the Bibliography. They are Super Teaching by Eric Jensen and The First Days of School by Harry Wong.   If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book but only one summary is written.
  Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻRules #4.ʼ

Assignment #5: Read an Article.

After reading the article “Rules and Boundaries” found at the end of the manual, write a 2-page summary.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #5.’

Assignment #6: Classroom Observation.

Observe another classroom (or instructional/structured) setting.

Assignment #7: Mine & Theirs.

Compare and contrast your rules/boundaries in your setting versus the observed setting. 
Write a 2- page summary.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #7.’

Assignment #8: Evaluate Your Settings.

Evaluate your personal and professional settings. Do you have rules/boundaries in each setting? How are they different/same? Is one setting more formal?  Are some rules/guidelines implied?
Share with a colleague.

Clock Hours, PDUs, CEUs, and Act 48 participants must complete Section C - The Integration Paper to be awarded hours for this course.



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #9: Implement a Top Ten Tip.

Choose one of the “Top Ten Tips for Classroom Discipline” found in manual. 
Make a conscious effort at implementation of this area.
Write a 1 to 2 page summary of your efforts. 
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #9.’

Assignment #10: Discussion.

Discuss with another person any strategies that may work to reduce the frequent violation of rules and boundaries in your setting, and send a one-page summary to your instructor. 
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #10.’

Assignment #11: Read 2 Articles.

Go on-line, to a library, or other reference setting and read 2 articles that focus on classroom discipline.
Write a 1 to 2 page summary from one article.
Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻRules #11.ʼ

Assignment #12: Lesson Development.

All group participants are required to complete this assignment independently.

Assignment #12:  You must choose either “A” or “B”  (Required for 400 and 500 Level) 

Assignment #A: (SEND commentary to Instructor)

  • Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
  • Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson.
(The following is encouraged but not required):
Assignment #B:  (SEND lesson and summary to Instructor) Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.
  • Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
 (The following is encouraged but not required):
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog prior to writing your article.
  • Please email a copy to Yvonne Hall ( THI blog curator and media specialist. 
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 
  • Subject line to read: (Course Name, Blog)
Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻRules #12 (A or B.)ʼ

Assignment #13: (500 level only)

In addition to the 400 level assignments, complete one (1) of the following options:
Option A)  Choose another book from the bibliography and write a 3-page discussion of what differs from your school practices.
Include your suggestions and any commentary appropriate to your professional perspective.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #13-A.’
Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school.
Save this as a pdf.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #13-B.’
Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with the instructor’s prior approval.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Rules #13-C.’


Assignment #14: (Required for Clock Hrs, PDUs, CEUs, Act 48, 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments.)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when, and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.



Angermeier, Patricia, Joan Krzyzanowski and Kristina Keller Moir. Learning in Motion: 101 Sensory Activities.  Future Horizons, 2009.  800 489 0727. 
Interactive games and activities for chidren with special needs.  (grades P-8.)
Brady, Kathryn, Mary Beth Forton, Deborah Porter.  Rules in Schools.  Northeast Foundation for Children, 2011.  800 360 6332.                                                Developing and evaluating classroom rules (K-12.)
Carr, Tom. 141 Creative Strategies For Reaching Adolescents. Youthlight, Inc. 2005.  800 365 9774. 
Intervention approaches for teens (grades 7 – 12.)
Ginsburg, Kenneth.  Building Resilience in Children and Teens.  American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.  866 843 2271. 
Guide offering coping strategies for facing stress within schools (grades P-12.)
Hanson, Martha. The ABCʼs of Childhood. CreateSpace, 2009.
Emphasizing active play for children (birth-2nd grade.)
Jensen, Eric. Super Teaching. Corwin Press, 2009  800 233 9936.
Empower students with proven strategies for brain-friendly instruction (grades K -12.)
Mahoney, C.  First Day of School: A Book about Rules and Behavior.  CreateSpace, 2016. 
Common rules and boundaries for children.  (grades P-8.)
O’Grady, Patty.  Positive Psychology in Elementary School Classrooms.  W W Norton and Company, 2013.  212 354 5500.                                                                                                     Integration of positive values in the classroom (grades P-12.)
Rami, Meenoo.  Thrive: 5 ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching.  Heinemann Publishing, 2014.   800 225 5800.  
Excellent book to jump start your class.  (grades p-12.)                                                                                     
Reifman, Steve.  The First Month of School.  Amazon Digital, 2014. 
Discusses four priorities to teach at the beginning of the year (grades P – 8.)
Thomas, Bonnie.  More Creative Coping Skills for Children.  Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. 2016.  215 922 1161. 
Fun, creative ways to teach social rules. (grades P-9.)
Vandawlaker, Marianne. Year-Round Classroom Guidance Games. MarCo Products, 2007.  800 448 2197. 
Monthly games and lessons for classrooms and small groups.
Weisgal, Ted and Lethan, Kathryn.  Robert’s Rules For Kids.  CreateSpace, 2014.
Teaching rules to children (grades K-5.) 
Wolfgang, Charles. Solving Discipline and Classroom Management Problems. Wiley Press, 2008.  877 762 2974. 
A general guide for specific ideas in presenting rules and guidelines to students  (grades K – 12.)
Wong, Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong. The First Days of School. Harry Wong Publishers. 2009.  650 965 7896. 
Book to help teachers set a successful tone for the year (grades K – 12.)