Does the term "chaos" come to mind when you think of the last Bible study session with your kids? Although "Be still and know that I am God" is far from the theme verse in most kids ministies, classroom guidance still plays an important part of a successful learning environment. While you may be tempted to fall back to less than desirable forms of discipline, here are some tips to help get your Sunday morning (or evening, or Wednesday, or…) session in order.
Do THIS: Be Consistent. Kids thrive on consistency. Having the same teacher every Sunday morning who is building a good relationship with the kids is key to successful classroom guidance. The kids know what the teacher expects, taking away the reason for them to test the limits.
Not that! Catch whoever you can in the hallway to teach for the day. Be sure to say goodbye — you\’ll never see them again!
Do THIS: Be Fair. The same rules apply every time — for everybody — even your favorites. \’Nuff said.
Not that! Overlook misbehavior of some while coming down hard on those challenging kids. They\’re not listening to you anyway.
Do THIS: Provide Choices. We all have preferences in the way we learn. Get to know the kids in your class and offer a choice of activities that appeal to their unique learning styles.
Not that! Choose the quietest, least messy activities you can find – the ones you enjoy. That way, the kids will sit calmly and clean up will be quick so you can get out of there the second that last child leaves. (Right.)
Do THIS: Don’t Threaten. Remind kids of the rules the first time you see problems beginning to occur. If the misbehavior continues, redirect them to another activity.
Not that! Threaten to remove them from an activity, then give them another chance, and then another, and then another until the behavior escalates to the point that you have to threaten to go get their parents. Then give them another chance. Then raise your voice. Maybe they didn\’t hear you.
Do THIS: Be generous with praise. (But make sure it’s authentic, not hollow.) Catch kids doing the right thing. They\’ll continue doing what gets the most attention.
Not that! Criticize every little thing you catch them doing wrong. Acknowledge them only when they misbehave, which seems to be all the time.
Do THIS: Pray! Pray that the kids will be sensitive to God’s leading in their lives. Pray the God will help you see the kids through His eyes. Pray that you will become the teacher that each child needs you to be. Pray early. Pray often!
Not that! Do it in your own power. (How’s that workin\’ for ya?)
Do you have some tips that work in your class? Please share the wealth!
These are great. I’d say that these would apply to my 7th grade guys in LifeGroup? 🙂 Thanks for the challenging and practical thoughts.
What choices can we give kids that come on the bus and we have no relationship with their parents? I know we need to create a relationship as much as possible but we had an influx of kids and it was a disaster. We tried a game and they did not follow instructions. I started the lesson but could not get through it because nobody was listening. (It just capped off a “no-good very bad” week)
How do we suspend kids from the bus without damaging the relationship too much?
Good tips Klista! I’m going to pass this along to some of my teachers. Now that we’re a month or so into the fall term, it seems as if I’m getting barraged with questions about classroom management. Any other tips or suggestions that we could use in training would be great!
Do this: Be proactive.
Come to your class early and over prepared, if one activity isn’t working have some extra you can do in a pinch. Think about your kids. If you know two kids always talk and misbehave together don’t let them sit near each other. At the beginning of your class go over expectations, don’t wait until kids break rules.