How To Keep Disruptive Behavior Down To A Minimum
1. 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.
Go over classroom rules and consequences thoroughly (giving examples for each rule) in class and post them so students can see it. Make sure that each student understands the rules and consequences. If you want the students to follow your classroom rules, follow through with established consequences. Consequences help kids own their behavior and teach them to make better choices. Be sure to also be consistent with the rules and consequences or the students will feel that sometimes they can get away with their behavior. If the students know that the rules and consequences are to be taken seriously, they will make sure they will not misbehave.
*You can also type up the class rules and have each student bring it home for their parents to read, sign, and bring back to your class. This lets the parents know what is expected of their child and the consequences if they do not follow the class rules.
2. Keep students busy. A bored student is more likely to cause disruption in the class so be sure to have lots of fun activities that emphasize the lesson and the objectives of what you want your students to learn.
3. Keep the students involved. Students must be actively engaged throughout the instructional process. Students should be provided physical cues to attend to relevant stimuli and be asked frequent questions or a certain task to perform. A good way to get the attention of a student or to stop any behavior problems is to ask that student a question or ask them to do a task. Keeping your students involved you can eliminate behavior problems that might arise.
4. Move. The catechist should not stand in one spot, but move around in the classroom. This way the catechist can see what is going on in the classroom. Some students try to sit in the back of the room so they do not have to participate or so they can cause disruption in the classroom. Walking slowly around your classroom while you teach also lets you come close to each and every student and lets them know you have control of the classroom.
5. Seat your students so that all eyes are toward you. Do not seat a student so all you see is the back of their head or they will not attend to the lesson and they will also be more likely to cause behavior problems. The easiest way to accomplish a good seating arrangement is to have the student’s desks lined up and facing the front of the classroom. You can also have tables situated perpendicularly to the front of the room and seat your students on the sides of the tables and on the far end of the table so you can see the student’s faces. Having the students toward you allows you to keep their attention and you can see exactly what they are doing. If a student misbehaves, a very effective way of stopping disruptive behavior is to move that student to another seat. The problem could be who the student is sitting near. Assigned seating in your classroom might also be another alternative to keep disruptive behavior to a minimum.
6. Catch student’s being good. When you acknowledge good behavior it let’s the students know that you appreciate that they are trying to behave and are following the rules. Be sure though, to not over do it.
How do you keep disruptive behavior down to a minimum in your classroom?
Copyright 2009 Laura Grace
About the Author
Laura Grace was a special education teacher years ago and has taught CCD for 16 years. She has been a contributor at catholicmom.com since 2006, is part of the Gospel Reflections Team, and creates lesson plans for religious education and homeschooling. In 2008 Laura started her own blog, The Catholic Toolbox where she posts activities, crafts, games, worksheets, puzzles, lesson plans, classroom tips, etc. for all ages.