What is a Charter?

A Classroom Charter is a promise that teachers and students create together for how they want to feel in the classroom, what actions will promote those feelings, and agreed upon actions for how to prevent and mange conflict. 


Families can create Charters too!

Creating a Family Charter with your children communicates to them that all feelings at O.K., that everyone deserves to be heard, and that it is everyone in your family's responsibility to create the kind of family that you all feel good about.

How to create a Family Charter

Three questions will guide your charter:

1. How do we want to feel in our family?
2. What can we each do in order to have these feelings more often?
3. How will we handle uncomfortable feelings and conflicts when they arise?

Use this Family Charter Template to guide you.

Step 1: Brainstorm Feelings 

Everyone quietly thinks to themselves about how they want to feel in your family.

Discuss and use post-its to jot down the feeling words that are important to all of you.

Choose your top 4-7 feeling words to put on your charter.

Step 2: Actions That Support These Feelings

Choose one feeling word at a time and discuss actions that will support each of these feelings.

Calm = we will use quiet voices in the morning
Heard = make eye contact and pause to listen to each other

Record 2-3 actions to go with each feeling.

Step 3: Handling Uncomfortable Feelings & Conflicts

Take a minute and think about a conflict that may come up in your family.

What will you do when this happens?

Example: if someone is in a bad mood, give them space or let them take a moment for themselves.

Come up with one action to go with each conflict or feeling. 


Congratulations on creating a Family Charter! Consider where you might post it in your home. Make it a living document and review it from time to time to see how well it's carried out and if it needs revision.

Watch: 2 min Seattle Schools Family Charter Night Video