Discipline That Works
If you have ever spent even ten minutes in a classroom of wiggly children then you understand the need for discipline. Where there is no discipline the class becomes a battle zone. A place where the strongest will or the biggest bully reigns. It is not a safe place nor is it a loving environment. Organizing a class can be compared to organizing grasshoppers. While it can be challenging it is well worth the effort.
Discipline is not silence.
Our objective is not to have a perfectly quiet class or a class where we turn children into little robots that never move or talk unless told to do so. Children don’t have to be quiet to learn. I have observed classes that were buzzing with activity and controlled noise where children were learning and having fun. That environment is very different than disorder. There are times in the class that the children need to be quiet. But there are also times that the children need to laugh and make noise. Even fun times need safe boundaries.
Discipline is not hollering,
…jumping up and down, beating your fist on the table, cussing, belittling, begging or hitting. Discipline is helping children grow into the maturity where they can self discipline. Discipline is establishing boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable behavior.
There is no perfect class. As long as we have people we will have challenges. We are in the people business. So we want to have people challenges.
Let’s face it our society has problems. People don’t leave those problems at home when they come to church. Children bring their problems with them when they come into your class. Because there is such a lack of discipline in our society, children will bristle when you try to establish discipline in your class. Dealing with these children can be as painful as trying to pet a porcupine. Often Children have not been trained how to act in church.
Get a good attitude about discipline
Discipline is not something you do to someone. It is something you do for someone. Discipline is a good thing.
Paul disciplined himself. Athletes must be disciplined to hone their talents to greatness. No one ever achieved anything of significance without discipline.
Parents need to be encouraged to discipline and train their children. Classrooms discipline is essential to create a loving, safe environment for children to learn.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it!
I wish I could give you 10 commandments for your classroom. I wish I could give you 10 little things that if you do them you will have the perfect class. But it’s not that simple. Yet, I do have 10 suggestions that will really work to help you have a safe, loving environment children will enjoy. In this teaching I am going to use an acrostic of the word DISCIPLINE to give you 10 important keys to effective classroom discipline.
D: Divine Presence Of God
Psalms 51:12,13 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.
Have more than a program. Have a message.
Look at every aspect of your program. Are there things that are causing discipline problems? Sometimes the leader is responsible for more of the discipline problems than they realize.
Is your classroom set up to eliminate distractions?
Look at the set up of the room. Are the students facing the door where late arrivals will be entering? Can you turn the chairs so the children’s backs are to the entrance door?
How is the temperature of your room?
Are people going and coming in the room? Train your workers to minimize their going and coming. Train your workers not to stand and talk with each other. Be sure the workers understand how to kick in and become involved in the ministry instead of being a distraction.
Are the students bored?
Is their inappropriate behavior a call for attention? Look at the situation and evaluate what is really going on instead of reacting to the situation. Talk to other workers (Without being critical or gossiping). Be careful that you do not reinforce bad behavior by rewarding them with attention and extra privileges.
You can purchase an audio download of this complete teaching.