I am always being asked about ideas for classroom management. I strongly recommend a relationship with the child and simply show delight for having the child in your classroom. The way we approach these children can set the climate of your classroom for success.
It takes time to develop relationships and always starts with learning the names of the children and then consistently experiencing them at camp, in the classroom and at other church events. Here are a few ideas to consider while you are investing in the time to build a relationship with the each child.
- Avoid disciplining kids in front of their peers.
- Avoid put-downs and shouting contests.
- Deal with discipline problems on a one-to-one basis.
- Look beyond behavior to what is its cause.
- Establish a few rules or a contract ahead of time, example: a “Children’s Group Contract.”
- Remain calm and avoid reacting immediately. Stay in control.
- Retain your sense of humor: Try to see the humor in what is going on. Making jokes and laughing off unwanted actions defuse its intent.
- Reward good behavior with positive feedback. It takes eight compliments to make up for one cut down.
- Give kids the opportunity to blow off steam when needed. Invite a child to get a drink of water and separate from the scene for moment to think and breath.
- Learn to “roll with the flow;” shift gears when necessary.
- Make sure your leaders lead. Give the leadership tasks that help them focus their energy positively.
- Use positive peer pressure to its best advantage.
- You may need to lower your expectations. You need to remember their age level and development. Let kids be kids.
- Don’t threaten to do something you can’t follow through with. That’s empty and diminishes respect.
What other suggestions would you add?