Basic In-Class Strategies

Some teachers look for a magical formula to cure all their difficulties with discipline. They hope for a “one-size fits all” approach — something easy, something that won’t require much effort. While certain methods and styles might seem to work, their long-range effect must be brought into question.
Basic In-Class Strategies for Classroom Discipline

Do they lead to the biblical objective in discipline?

Do they line up with God’s character and ways?

Do they have a lasting impact?

Tips for Choosing Basic In-Class Strategies for Classroom Discipline

Choose discipline methods wisely. Consider the points made in the tips that follow when determining how you should handle a situation.

  • Minister to the needs of each individual.
  • Treat your students with dignity and respect.
  • Put a high premium on relationship.
  • Try to determine the root cause of the misbehavior.
  • Compensate for individual differences among students.
  • Be careful you aren’t reinforcing negative behavior.
  • What works for one child may not work for another.
  • “Time-out” does not work in all situations.
  • Sometimes it is appropriate to ignore misbehavior.
  • To be heard you must be consistent.

This post comes from the introductory remarks in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline under the Basic In-Class Strategies section which looks at each of the above tips, along with twenty other tips that fit other Basics.

Basic Out-of-Class Strategies

You, as a teacher, lay the groundwork for good classroom management long before you step foot into the classroom. Good discipline in the classroom has as much to do with the attitude and behavior of the teacher as with that of the children. Your part helps prevent problems from even happening and largely stems from preparing.

Preparing the lesson
Preparing for transitions
Preparing for breaks in routine

Also, becoming more aware of what is happening in the students’ homes prepares you by giving you insight into potential behavior problems.

And, praying regularly for your students, as well as your teaching, invites the Spirit of God to go before you and prepare the way. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, even the most prepared and well executed lesson will do little to yield spiritual results.

Tips that Provide Basic Out-of-Class Strategies

Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline - Basic Out-of-Class Strategies
(Click image to learn more about this resource.)

The five tips which follow, expounded on in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline, are instrumental in helping you prevent problems. They enable you to be prepared for what could happen.

  • Adequately prepare for your lesson.
  • Plan well for those transitional times between activities.
  • Plan for the effects of changing weather patterns, holidays, or other breaks in routine.
  • Acquaint yourself with each student’s home situation.
  • Pray regularly for each student.

Basic Environment

Distractions, boredom, and frustration seem to fuel behavioral problems. Consequently, one of goals of Bible teachers ought to be the minimization of their accelerators. Teaching methods and styles could be to blame but don’t forget to look at your classroom. The physical environment can affect behavior.

Tips to Help with a Basic Environment Conducive to Good Classroom Management & Learning

Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline - Basic Environment Section

The Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline consequently provides the following tips to help you think about the kind of environment you are providing.

  • Keep your room attractively decorated, neat, clean, cheerful, and free of clutter.
  • Keep your room comfortable and facilitating to learning with good lighting, adequate ventilation, and plenty of space to move around.

We don’t always think about the effects of the classroom itself on classroom discipline. Take some time to think about how attractive, comfortable, and facilitating your classroom is to learning. If students aren’t learning because of these factors, they’re more likely doing something they shouldn’t be doing.

Also check out: Classroom Set-Up: Effectively Use Facilities

Basic Structure

Organizational Structure Varies But Basic TipsNo one set structure exists for grouping your learners. Each church’s organizational needs vary according to:

number of students
available facilities
time element
available teachers and helpers

Typical broad age divisions are:

Early Childhood
Grade School

These divisions may be broken down further into departments and individual classes. The key is to determine what structure will yield an optimal level of learning for your students and give leaders and teachers at the different levels the greatest influence over staff and students.

Regardless of your organizational structure, the following basic tips will help you prevent behavioral problems:

  • All teachers within an age division should have the same rules. — Promote consistency.
  • Guard your teacher-student ratio. — Promote a manageable span of influence.

When you follow those basics, found in the Handbook on the Basics of Classroom Discipline, you will minimize behavioral problems and optimize learning. The above content is taken from the handbook’s introductory remarks in the Basic Structure section.