I’ve done a fair number of teacher training seminars through the years and learned that many teachers in children’s ministry find classroom discipline issues to be their number one frustration. What I also found is that many of these teachers want a step by step play book for “fixing” the problems. I usually cannot provide that kind of a plan. What I can do is hand them an umbrella. No, not a real umbrella … an analogy.
- They need a big picture perspective or philosophy under which all discipline should come. This is like the canopy of the umbrella. Without this material over the framework, or spokes, their efforts will not protect or provide shelter. All that is done needs to come under the umbrella of God’s Word. The Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook provides this kind of perspective.
- Under that canopy are spokes, the framework on which the material hangs. These are principles that can apply to all discipline situations. Again, the workbook will help you work through these principles but the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline can also help with that. Every month one of the discipline tips from that book is put on the site, replacing the previous month’s tip.
- The umbrella with its canopy and framework won’t help unless you personally grab hold of it. This is where the handle comes in — the specific application to your situation. One reason I can’t provide steps to handling discipline problems is that there are so many variables. For example, two children can engage in the same behavior but for different reasons making the application specific to that situation.
The Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges resource provides help with 56 different discipline issues. These one page tools present possible causes for each issue with resultant suggestions for each reason. Here are some examples:
- Attention-Getting Behavior with 3 possible causes
- Bringing Toys & Objects from Home with 3 possible causes
- Constantly or Excessively Moving Children with 3 possible causes
- Crying When Children Dropped off with 3 possible causes
- Talking Incessantly/Inappropriately with 3 possible causes
- Teasing & Bullying with 6 possible causes
- When Staff Kids Misbehave with 4 possible causes
As you keep God’s big picture perspective in mind and apply the principles in ways appropriate to your situation and student needs, “rainy days” won’t have to get you drenched with frustration and despair. If you line up what you do with God and His Word, you can depend on God for the long-range results and short-term coverage.