Classroom Discipline Tips for Children & Youth Workers, Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers
Put a high premium on relationship.
God made people to be relational.
From the beginning He said "It is not good for man to be alone" (Gen. 2:18).
When God established the Church, He designed it to function best as believers acted interdependent on one another, as they functioned as a body, as a unit (Rom. 12:3-16; 1 Cor. 12:12-31).
Jesus emphasized love (Jn. 15:9-17) and so did the writers of the New Testament (1 Cor. 13; 1 Jn. 3:11-20; 4:7-21).
As relational beings, people have the need to be loved and to belong. They need security within relationships.
Seek to build relationships with your students.
- Watch for attacking the person rather than the behavior.
- Avoid using tactics that make the child feel rejected, alone, or unloved.
- Simply talking with your students and listening attentively to them will help. Make eye contact as you do.
- Spend time with them outside of the classroom. You don't have to plan anything extravagant. Just being together will help build the relationship.
When they believe you truly love them and they feel safe with you, they will tend to be more cooperative.
Also guard the way the class relates among itself.
- Classroom rules should protect them from abusive behavior toward one another, name calling, and other acts of unkindness or prejudice.
- As a teacher you must likewise avoid put downs and humiliating them in front of their peers. You need to set an example.
Finally, remember that your main purpose is to encourage a deep relationship with the Lord.
- Point them to God as the one who will consistently and sufficiently meet their needs.
- Make it your goal that they become dependent on Him, not on you or others. Their friends, parents, and teachers may let them down from time to time but the Lord is always dependable. He is always faithful, loving, and true.
(Last updated 3/01/17)
For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:
Read other tips in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline.
Or, go beyond by using the Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook.
Learn the difference between Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet and the implications for your teaching.
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.
And, click below to read helpful articles on classroom discipline: