The good news is that there are some practical things we can do…and some things we can avoid…that will help our students and ourselves succeed:
Do come to class prepared or arrive early enough to finish your preparation before any students arrive. The more prepared you are, the more ready you will be to deal with students appropriately.
Don’t be late! Coming late causes you to be flustered, and it starts your class off with a sense of chaos. An old adage of teaching says that the first person to arrive in the classroom is in charge for the day. It’s best if that’s you!
Do have extra activities planned. The learning project that looks great at home may simply fall flat in class. Options allow for you to move on to a new activity when you’ve lost your students on the current one.
Don’t interrupt your lesson to address unrelated issues. Calling attention to something you’ve just noticed does little more than pointing your students away from your lesson to the unplanned interruption.
Discipline is a challenge for most teachers, and especially those working with preteens, but we need to remember that our discipline efforts are a necessary and important aspect of “discipling” our students, guiding them into their own individual paths of spiritual growth.
(One of the highlights of my week has always been Wednesday night youth group for preteens! So I’ve decided to dedicate Wednesday posts on the KidZ PreZ blog to preteens. This week is part one of a three-part series on discipline and preteens.)