A Guide to Rules in the Classroom
Children’s Ministry Best Practices to Help Your Ministry Flourish
One of the challenges of teaching in a classroom is keeping your students focused and interested in the lesson, despite potential disciplinary interruptions. Testing rules and asking questions is normal for children, and often they need to learn the boundaries of the classroom before they are able to behave appropriately. As the teacher, it is up to you to set up the necessary classroom rules and procedures that will create a healthy learning environment.
Testing rules and asking questions is normal for children, and often they need to learn the boundaries of the classroom before they are able to behave appropriately.
So, what are some ways teachers can address disruptive behavior in the classroom?
We recommend that teachers take some time to dig a little deeper and try to find out motivations or underlying issues that might be causing disruptive behavior. For instance, could the reasons for the disruptions be something as simple as hunger? Other possible reasons for disruptive behaviors in the classroom are a need for affection from the child, or a lack of attention in their home. Thinking through the possible motivations for the child’s behavior can help you to have empathy, and to see beyond the annoyance you might feel at any disruptions.
Please note that it is not up to the teacher to solve these issues. However, it can be helpful to keep your lessons on track by having a few tools to use with children who have difficult behaviors.
One way of dealing with children who need extra attention is to give them extra responsibility in the classroom. Asking these children to help illustrate the lesson through drama, by reading a Bible passage, or to help hand out resources during the class is a great method of involving a child who requires extra attention.
When dealing with discipline issues, we recommend speaking to the child or children involved quickly and privately, when possible. If possible, decide on discipline that is a logical consequence to the original offense. Speak clearly and compassionately, and create expectations for future good behavior.
Other children may just need help navigating their relationships with friends who are distracting. This may be accomplished by creating assigned seating or moving two children away from each other who are diverting focus from the teaching.
Another recommended teaching technique is something called “active learning”. Active learning is when a child can move and talk during the lesson using tools that keep them both engaged and participating in the lesson. The top three ways to keep your classroom active are by using object lessons, drama, and games.
The top three ways to keep your classroom active are by using object lessons, drama, and games.
An object lesson is when the students can touch, see, feel and use their senses to help them learn something. Find an interesting item that will help you explain or demonstrate a lesson. You can use facts about ordinary objects to help kids discover truths they will need to grow in their lives with Jesus.
Drama and games are always great ways to hold your students’ attentions. The more engaged and interested in the lesson they are, the less you should have to deal with discipline interruptions.
Teaching your students that they are created in God’s image and loved unconditionally by the God of the universe is the first step in helping them respect themselves and others! We love what THIS BLOG has to say about teaching respect.
WellConnected is an initiative of OneHope, and is a gathering place for children and youth ministers to access resources, research, and content to raise up the next generation. It’s a collaborative platform to equip leaders and influencers to effectively reach the kids in their communities. We invite churches and ministers to join one another in coming up with innovative solutions for today’s realities. We are continually learning and growing from each other — sharing knowledge, insight, and best practices.