Organizing a church classroom isn't as easy as it sounds. From students that may arrive at different times to keeping everyone on track, you need to have a good system in place in order to ensure that everyone has a good experience in Sunday school.
Without systems and tools in place, you may quickly find that you're burning yourself out during the day and staying later than you'd like as you struggle with getting your classroom into order.
With this in mind, read on to learn all about managing church school classrooms so that you can start off on your best foot!
Church Classroom Management Tips
When it comes to classroom management, you're essentially a shepherd for your students. Good management requires an awareness of the classroom, patience, instinct, and empathy. Here are a few of our top tips:
- Take Care of Yourself
If it's your first time teaching a Sunday school class, you may be struggling with feelings of overwhelm. It can be easy to push aside your own needs and boundaries in order to get more done during the day. However, in order to teach properly, you need to be able to consistently take care of yourself.
This means getting the proper sleep at night so that you have a fresh, clear mind in the morning. This also means creating a self-care routine that meets both your body's and mind's needs in order to take care of stress.
According to the Center on the Developing Child, excessive stress affects our executive functions.
- Create Routines
Students and especially children won't be able to learn and concentrate as effectively if you have a chaotic classroom. Routines, rules, and structures need to be in place at the very beginning so everyone knows what to expect in your classroom.
Create a classroom code of conduct and make sure that you model it as well so that you set the example. If you have a basic routine, write it on a poster board and hang it up in order to help children who might have anxiety.
This can be as simple as taking a seat when they arrive and reading quietly until the class begins.
- Allow Students to Be Teachers
It's important that you focus on developing relationships with each student so that you can get to know their personalities and strengths. When you know their strengths, you can enlist them into being your teacher's assistant by writing verses on the wall, reading out loud, or interpreting their favorite verse.
Not only will this help instill a sense of pride in their work, but your students will also feel more engaged with the material.
Church Classroom Tools
Now that you know a few basic management techniques for your classroom, it's important that you utilize any tools you have at your disposal. These tools can help make your life easier when it comes to classroom communication and management. Here are our top recommendations:
- School Paging System
Paging systems can be used to hand out to parents who are busy within the church and need to be reminded to pick up their children after a few hours have passed. You can use simple vibrating pagers to notify them or leave more elaborate messages with pagers capable of storing voice messages or having written messages displayed.
You'll first want to determine how many pagers you need by considering the average number of children in your classroom. If this is more than your budget can handle, consider only handing out a few pagers for parents who are staff or volunteer at the church but also take their children to class.
- Classroom Signal Light
A classroom signal light is just as it sounds–a signal light that hangs in or near your classroom. This can act as a handy visual reminder for students so that they know the status of the classroom at all times.
Green can mean that the class is active. Yellow means that you're preparing for the day or starting to wind down. Red means that it's time for parents to pick up their children.
When you think about the classroom management techniques above, a signal light quickly helps create a sense of routine in order in a new classroom.
- Check-In System
A childcare check-in system is absolutely necessary for larger churches if your classrooms are often filled with children who you don't recognize. The check-in system can produce randomized numbers for each child in order to increase security when it's time for pickup.
If you're used to using paper and pencil, a digital solution will drastically help speed up lines. You'll also be able to check your history so you can keep track of the growth of your church as well as monitor whether you're reaching capacity. A web-based check-in system also allows you to have multiple check-in stations without an increase in costs.
Best Management Techniques for Church School Classrooms
Managing church school classrooms doesn't have to increase your stress or burn you out at the end of the day. With a routine in place for children, remember to take care of your own health, and utilizing tools to make management easier, you'll have a system that you can replicate throughout the year.
The best part of these management techniques and tools is that they can quickly be adopted by a variety of teachers. If you're out for the day, you can have documentation in place so that a substitute teacher is able to pick them up.
Take a look at our church management tools today to get started!