Do you have Sunday School students who enjoy poking their neighbors or making side comments? If so, you might help your students improve their behavior by making slight changes in your classroom. As you read the items below, note tweaks you might make to help improve student behavior.

Classroom Space: Students are more likely to get into trouble if they do not have enough personal space. If your students are elbow to elbow, discuss the situation with your Sunday School superintendent or your pastor. Perhaps items could be removed from the classroom or you could exchange classrooms with another class.

Furniture: If chairs are too small or unbalanced, students will become fidgety. Your room should have  appropriately-sized tables for all students to use for learning activities.

Distractions: Students with short attention spans will be able to concentrate better if they are not facing a window or eye-catching decorations. If you teach with a partition or curtain separating your class from another one, work with your neighboring teacher to keep auditory distractions to a minimum.

Supplies: Make sure that you have enough pencils, markers, glue sticks, scissors, etc., so students can participate simultaneously in an activity. Mischief occurs when students have to wait to use items. To avoid arguments, make sure the supplies are of the same quality.

Clutter: Help students organize themselves by having an orderly classroom. Guide them in putting supplies away, picking up paper scraps, scooting in their chairs. Students are honoring God by taking care of His house.

Color: Decorate your walls and bulletin boards with colors that appeal to you and reflects what you want the class atmosphere to be: warm and homey? —use earth tones or primary colors; calm and soothing? —decorate with blues and greens; wacky and creative? —splash with tropical colors. (Keep in mind that decorating with neon colors can increase students’ hyperactivity.)

As teachers we need to make every effort to ensure the classroom is set-up for learning. Other factors also impact student behavior. In the next issue of  Synergy, Helping Students Behave-Part 2 will address how teacher behavior influences the way students behave.

Daria Greening, seminar leader
Regular Baptist Ministries

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