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

Avoid being overly permissive.

Overly permissive teachers are frequently in one of two positions:

  1. They are lazy and care more about themselves than their students.
  2. They are misguided in their thinking about how to build relationship with students.

To be sure, for some people keeping on top of children is too much work. It is easier to just let them go. This adult has his/her own agenda and it is too much bother to deal with behavioral problems. Managing the classroom, however, requires that

teachers look beyond themselves
to what is best for the students.

Some teachers believe they will be liked and respected more if they allow their students freedom to do as they please. Children tend to test teachers to see where they draw the line. They complain about rules. When such resistance is encountered, this teacher takes it personally and backs down for fear of losing repertoire with the class. Permissiveness, however, usually produces bad feelings toward the teacher. The student actually comes to disrespect the teacher rather than hold him in high regard.
Failure to provide leadership and direction in the classroom, for whatever reason, hinders the learning process. A degree of structure is needed to function properly. Little learning happens in a chaotic atmosphere.
Children who are given free reign

  • grow up thinking that the world revolves around them
  • are unable to selflessly conform in social settings
  • tend to be disrespectful toward authority

Certainly this is not the end result a caring teacher or parent wants to see.
When children are permitted to do what is right in their own eyes rather than submit to an outside standard, they do not have a model for how their relationship with God should be. The more they learn to submit on the earthly realm, the more comprehensible it becomes in the divine realm.
NEXT MONTH: Avoid going the opposite direction of being an authoritarian.
Helpful Resource: Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet

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(Last updated 8/01/16)

For more training to help you with Classroom Discipline:

Handbook on Classroom Discipline      Effectively Handling Classroom Discipline Workbook

Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet

Learn the difference between Biblical Authority versus the Authoritarian and Permissive Teachers Worksheet and the implications for your teaching.

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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