by Pedro Fiqueroa
Discipline is important to God. Why? Discipline creates a context for sharing in God's holiness.
What is Discipline?
Systematic training of the mental, moral and physical by instruction and exercise resulting in self control.
New International Dictionary of the Bible:
2 Timothy 3:16 Teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
How do we create a classroom with discipline?
- Know your lesson well so that it is interesting and engaging.
- Be animated, enjoy your children, and have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish.
- Have the crafts and other materials ready so that there is no down time.
- Have your samples/models ready so children can see the end product.
- Make a schedule so that you know in what order you will do your activities.
- Give yourself general times for each activity – for example: 10 minutes for snack, 15 craft
- Over plan but do not try to do everything.
Children respond well when they are praised often. Use praise to point out the good children are doing. If a child is off task, praise a child who is on task. Restate what the children should be doing, e.g. “I like how Johnny is sitting on the rug with his legs crossed!”
- Smile a lot.
- Say nice things like, “We are going to have so much fun today.”
- Welcome new children with a high five, or some other fun greeting.
- Celebrate successes, such as when the children complete a project, or when a child starts writing her name for herself.
If you have children with special needs or difficult behaviors, create a positive behavior system with rewards at the end. Incentives go a long way.
Remember that different children are at different places spiritually. Just like the adults we reach out to, some children need extra time, care and attention.