Avoid being an authoritarian.
Teachers who excessively display their authority could do so for a number of reasons. Perhaps their parents and teachers were this way and so they are conditioned to react as an authoritarian. They may not know another way. Sometimes, however, a teacher's insecurities may cause him/her to over-compensate. And then there are those who see themselves as older, bigger, and smarter and therefore in control. Power fuels them.
In this classroom, instead of experiencing love, a student will find hostility and frustration. The child comes to fear or resent the teacher, living under a cloud of guilt and feeling of rejection. Instead of being instructed on what he can become, the child is punished. The child is often humiliated. The child is made to be dependent on the teacher to choose for him rather than become self-disciplined.
Biblical exercise of authority models God's character.
God is righteous, holy, and just but
He is also loving, good, and merciful.
This is the balance for which teachers should strive.
Jesus taught "as one who had authority" according to Mark 1:22. He was not, however, an authoritarian. Jesus demonstrated His power in humility and love with the welfare of His pupils at the core of all He did. He was a servant and He taught His disciples to be the same. In Mark 10:42-45, Jesus is quoted as saying "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise
authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Helpful Resource: Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet
(Last updated 9/01/16)
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: