Tips & Tricks
Easy steps to better classroom management
– Julie Cox
Last week the children in my Sunday school class were unusually rambunctious. As soon as they arrived the morning started going downhill. By the time class was over I was worn out and wondered if I should even be teaching. Satan would love to have used that one bad day to keep me from doing the job God has called me to. Let’s take a look at ways to help improve classroom management.
Understand Your Audience
Remember the people you are serving are children. They are not miniature adults. By nature children are immature. They think and talk and behave in ways that we sometimes fail to take into consideration.
There are several possible explanations for my group’s uncharacteristically wild behavior that day. They could have been tired after a very intense week of VBS. It may have been due to the fact that the class schedule was disrupted by our participation in the adult service. Another factor may have been the unusually large number of visitors in class. Remember how excited you got when cousins visited?
We cannot dismiss wrongdoing or overlook poor discipline habits. But remember that positive, mature actions come with time and training. Building into the lives of children often requires waiting to see the results of your investment.
Explain Your Expectations
Most children love to please their teachers so let them know what type of behavior pleases you.
Determine what the code of conduct will be for your room and tell the class. Be sure to keep it simple. A long list of rules is hard to remember. Post your rules somewhere in your classroom and restate them often to the children.
Think through what the consequences of broken rules will be and share these with your students. No surprises! Stating the consequences also helps you to follow through should the need arise. Because fairness is so significant to children be sure you are fair when handling the challenges that will take place.
Correct Your Problems
You may be your own worst problem when it comes to classroom management.
• Are you on time?
• Are you prepared?
• Do you plan for your students to move and participate in the teaching?
• Are your sins confessed so Satan cannot gain a foothold in your life?
• Do you address the real issues when the children are disruptive?
Take a look around your room for possible adjustments that could help your situation. Overcrowded rooms make it hard to see and listen. At the same time a room too big may make listening difficult. Lighting, comfortable seating and adequate ventilation can make huge improvements in children’s behavior.
If problems continue with a particular child speak with his parents. Take on the role of an advocate for the child, not an accuser. This should be a time to problem solve with the parents in order to help the child grow.
Secure Your Support System
Never underestimate the power of prayer. Enlist a few close friends to pray during your class time. Give specific requests but be careful not to use children’s names. Keep your prayer partners updated on how God is working in lives.
Rely on other teachers for ideas and encouragement. Sharing will help you know you are not alone in your struggles and stimulate some creative solutions. Stay in close contact with the leader of your department. She may have additional resources for you. These members of your team also make great prayer partners.
Having an assistant is an easy way to increase the effectiveness of your classroom management. Choose someone you work well with and who also desires to develop young disciples. Your helper will need to know how you expect her to interact with the children and how much authority she has to correct them.
Trust Your Master
The final step to making your classroom more manageable is to remember to leave things in the hands of the Lord. He will give you everything you need to do the work He has called you to. Trusting Him will bring peace to your heart and will allow the Holy Spirit to lovingly disciple the boys and girls.
Teaching children is full of good times. Don’t let Satan steal your joy with a few rough moments. Give children time to mature. Give yourself room to grow and watch God do amazing things. Joining God in this process will never be boring!
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