Religious Education Resources: Discipline in the Classroom

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misbehave kidscleanedYou have volunteered to be a CCD teacher and you find yourself with challenges that all catechists must face. You wonder how you are going to do it and how you are going to handle certain situations in the classroom. So to combat this, you thoroughly plan and prepare for your class, but the nagging feeling of losing control of the classroom because of misbehaved students makes you feel discouraged, unequipped, and scared. When asked what their major concern when teaching CCD, catechists usually say discipline.

So how can catechists not loose control of their classroom?

Rule #1: Don’t panic. When discipline problem arise, remain calm and in control.

Rule #2: Have a Behavior Management System.

The Four Components of (just about) Any Good Classroom Behavior Management System

Rule #3: Have Classroom Rules. If your church does not have classroom rules you need to write up some for your class. Write up rules and have them approved by the DRE.

When writing your classroom rules, state rules in a positive manner. Rules should tell students what they are supposed to do, not just what to avoid.

Devise consequences for when rules are violated. They must be related to the offence, respectful, and reasonable.

Go over rules and consequences thoroughly (giving examples for each rule) during class and post them so students can see it. Make sure that each student understands the rules and consequences. You can also type it up and have each student bring it home for their parents to read, sign, and bring back to your class.

Example:

Classroom Rules

We will be kind to everybody.

We will raise our hand when we want to speak.

We will use inside voices.

We will walk inside the room.

We will listen to the teachers and follow directions.

We keep our hands, feet, and objects to ourselves.

We respect others and their property.

We will clean up after ourselves.

Consequences

1st time- Verbal reminder to show the correct behavior. (Example: Tommy, we raise our hand when we want to speak.)

2nd time- Move to a table by themselves.

3rd time- Sent to the office of the DRE.

Rule #4: Reinforce Good Behavior.

Catch Them Being Good (Example: Thank you Tommy for raising your hand.)

Rule #5: Be Consistent.

Always keep to the rules and follow through with consequences.

What tips do you have for discipline in the classroom?

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4 Comments

  1. Laura,

    These are all excellent tips – thank you! In particular I like that your rules are concise and to the point and your consequences are spelled out. #5 consistency couldn’t be more important. Young people have a deep sense of justice. Children that are the biggest disruption will always call you out if your consequences are not applied equally to all others in the class.

    Here is an additional tip: when you discipline, make sure you explain the “why” to the children. Often times young people don’t fully understand what it is they did wrong. (“Tommy, remind us why we raise our hands to speak.) They may be carrying out behavior that is perfectly acceptable at home or even at school! Give them the benefit of the doubt, but don’t elinate the consequences. You have to be consistent.

    Also, you might find a recent post on my blog helpful on creating Scripture-based Classroom Rules: http://thereligionteacher.blogspot.com/2009/07/scripture-based-classroom-rules.html. Hope this is helpful to your readers!

    -Jared

  2. Jared-

    Great tip! I know others will use it too! 🙂

    Thanks for the link to a recent post on your blog on creating Scripture-based Classroom Rules. I got to check it out!

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