Thursday, August 30, 2012

EDUCATION: Sunday School Student Management

Sharing Jesus with young kids can be a great experience!  Sunday School is a much shorter time period than regular school and you want it to be both fun and a time of learning but it can't be a free-for-all.  If your class can't settle down they'll be too distracted to hear anything you say and it will give you stress.  Here are a few tips to help you manage your classroom:
  • Set the tone and expectation of behavior early in your class.  Tell them "good morning" and let them greet you back and greet each other as well.
  • After they've greeted each other take a few moments to remind them of the basic rules (they can tell you what they are) and let them know what they're going to do that day.
  • Always use positive languange.
  • Be consistent about your expectations.  The younger the student, the less they see shades of gray. 
  • Have logical consequences and expect students to fix their mistakes.  It's not enough just to tell them they shouldn't hit or call somebody stupid.  They have to learn to apologize, clean it up, tell their parents they wrote on the table, etc.  It never hurts to say, "What should we do about this?" 
  • Give students appropriate choices when possible.  They feel a sense of control when they can decide a few things.  "We can do this or this."  "You can have red or green."
Using techniques that give students a moment to collect themselves when they seem out of control is a good idea.  That's what time out is for.  Remember that it's about a minute for every year old the child is.  Make sure you talk to them before they return to participation to give them a chance to make it right.

Always, always, always say 'goodbye' to your students and tell them what a great time you had learning about Jesus with them!

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