Classroom Discipline Tips for Children & Youth Workers, Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

Is it ever appropriate to take a misbehaving child out of the room?

Sometimes a cooling down period is helpful to the more aggressive child who is out of control. Likewise, for the hyperactive student it could provide an opportunity to calm down. However, for the one who acts up because he does not want to be involved, taking him out, away from the class, will give him what he wants and hence reinforce his misconduct.
When using this technique, often called "time-out," remember a few principles:

  1. Guard the child's self-esteem. Do not belittle him in front of others by the way you exercise this disciplinary action.
  2. Use this means only after you have tried other steps such as visual signals and verbal contacts.
  3. Be sure the location is void of desirable factors such as toys, books, magazines, or even other people who will sit and chat with him. If the "time-out" is pleasurable, you will reinforce misbehavior.
  4. "Time-out" should not be executed as punishment but rather as a corrective measure, giving the child an opportunity to reorganize his thoughts and to make plans to redirect his energies.
  5. Do not use this technique as a cop-out for handling the problem. You need to get to the root cause and deal with that.

(Last updated 2/01/15)

For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:

Handbook on Classroom Discipline      Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook

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Discipline Issues

Think through the challenges, causes, corrective measures, and ways to circumvent 56 different discipline issues using the one page sheets in the Discipline Issues: What to Do About Specific Challenges resource.


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