All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
As teachers, we must be PROACTIVE. We must set a tone, an atmosphere that helps each child to enjoy and benefit from our lessons and activities. We want to maintain a reasonably orderly environment and yet not be too behavior focused. Behavior is an outflow of the heart. Basic discipline:
- Relationships. Know your students. Listen to them. Learning styles. Family background. Abilities and interests. Use their names often.
- Establish a few simple rules the first week and review them often. Post the rules. Examples: Be kind. Be still and listen during story time. Raise your hand to ask a question. Share. Be safe.
- Use praise and positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior with attention. Sometimes you can ignore a negative attention seeker.
- Prevent problems. Separate two children. Sit beside one. Put your hand on his shoulder. Make eye contact.
- Those who are not telling the story or leading from up front should be actively maintaining order.
- Be well prepared to teach. If you are disorganized or unprepared, you invite disruptive behavior.
- Pray! Pray! Pray!
- Give choices. “Mary, you may not talk to Sarah during the lesson. You may sit by Sarah and be quiet or you may sit here by me.”
- Use logical consequences. If Sam won’t share the blocks, he loses the right to play with the blocks.
- Make sure the child understands what he or she did wrong.
- Correction should be private when possible.
- Remind once, then promptly provide consequences or correction.
- When discipline/punishment is over, the slate is clean and all is restored and forgiven. Make sure the child knows that you love him!!
- Be consistent, fair and follow through.
Anything violent – hitting, biting*, kicking, pushing etc.
Offensive language or name-calling.
Consistently defiant disobedience or disrespect.
Anything unsafe/destructive – matches/fire, defacing church property etc.
Discipline options – when other tactics aren’t working
Time Out – In a specific place for a specific time. Enforce it. Tell Coordinator.
Use an outside “authority figure”.
Remove child from the classroom.
*In the nursery and preschool areas, biting is a special case and should always be handled by a coordinator, rather than teachers or paid workers.
Classroom Discipline Made Easy by Barbara Bolton; Standard Publishing