The people you discipline become your disciples. I have been told that if there is a discipline issue in a class, 90% of the time the teacher is the reason for it. The teacher is the one that is allowing a class to be undisciplined. The teacher is the one that could have prevented it. The teacher is in charge of the class; so the responsibility is with the teacher not the students.
Children want discipline. Children love to play games. Games are small sets of rules. They are easy to follow, they are fair, and they are fun to play. We need to have discipline in our classes, and that discipline needs to be easy to follow. We need to constantly and fairly enforce the rules. Making up the rules as you go or changing them will not create discipline.
Discipline requires rules that are achievable. Rules that are unattainable or unjust don’t instill discipline. If you have a rule that says no talking, then that can be almost impossible for a 4-5 year old to obey. A rule “No talking out of turn” makes more sense, but what does “out of turn” mean? Rules can be far more challenging than you may think. Be sure your students don’t just know the rule, be sure they understand the rules.
You need to create the discipline in a class, don’t expect the rules to do that. Israel didn’t have a relationship with the 10 commandments. We have a relationship with Jesus, and because we have this relationship, we keep His word. Kids don’t obey rules for the rule’s sake; children obey the rules because they have a relationship with the one who gives the rules. They need to know you and know that you are just and honest. Take the time to build relationship with your students.
The God kind of love is the key to discipline. Gods love says “I love you, you can’t hurt me.” It doesn’t count or make any recounts of any evil done to it. God’s love benefits others and is not self seeking. The attitude of “I am in charge, sit down and behave, and I have something to say” is not that kind of love. The attitude of what must I do to get God’s message to His children is God’s love. Discipline is done for the children not to the children.
How would the story read if the next time you had a class and 10% of the children in that class came from homes that were full of poverty, violence, drugs, crime, and hopelessness? I mean this to be a challenge to prepare you to love the unlovely and to discipline the undisciplined. A wise man counts the cost before he builds. Are you prepared to build lives by disciplining and make disciples those that come to your class?
An ounce of discipline is better than a ton of learning. Be sure you have a disciplined class. Love is a great motivator. Get the children to love you then they will love your words, then they will love your God and then your God will be their God.