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Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.

Philippians 4:4 (KJV)

Banish the Four D's that Destroy Classroom Management

We've all been there.  Sitting at the end of a Sabbath School class or a VBS meeting wondering...where did we go wrong?  Whether it was a kid that had to be sent out or an entire class that was out of control, we've all struggled with classroom management on some level.  So whether you just need a quick refresher or a full on intensive, here are a few tips to help you balance the deadly D's of:

  1. Discomfort
  2. Disinterest
  3. Distraction
  4. Disturbance

These four issues are the leading causes of Classroom Management problems and dealing with them is the key to having a fun filled program that keeps the kids on point.

Banish Discomfort by Creating the Right Atmosphere:  This seems like a simple enough concept. You may realize that 30 degrees is too cold for a classroom, but there are other ways that children can feel uncomfortable.  If children don't know anyone or don't have any friends in the class they will have a hard time feeling relaxed.  Concerns about other basic needs like getting a good breakfast and making sure that kids' home lives are going ok can go along way.  You can't fix everything a child is facing but just knowing that you care will help them feel more comfortable.

Banish Disinterest by Mixing Things Up: Remember that kids can't really give you more than a few minutes of attention at a time.  If your story lasts for 20 minutes, you lost the kids half way through.  Think of ways to involve kids in active learning and make sure to switch activities often to keep them on their toes.  If you notice that you are losing kids (lost eye contact, fidgeting in seats) don't be afraid to stop what you're doing and have a quick active song to get the wiggles out.  Get to know your kids so that you can include things they like to do or talk about in the lesson.  Even if  you don't talk about football every week, football fans will pay attention each week just in case you do.

Minimize Distractions to Keep Kids Focused: Let's be honest, you can't control the entire universe so that distractions don't happen.  If the local marching band wants to practice on the street right outside of your window there isn't much you can do to stop them.  Kids get sick, parents leave early, and random events are bound to happen.  The key is to minimize these distractions to keep kids on task.  In room decoration less is more.  Having a brightly painted room with a few key posters and items prominent is better for keeping kids focused than having a room with every craft the kids ever did hanging on the walls.  Making sure that the space is clean and that there are clear procedures in place for things like picking up and dropping off kids goes a long way to help kids stay on task.  

Banish Disturbances with Planning: Remember the time you thought you'd come to class and "wing it"?  It didn't turn out well did it.  Often times our classes are interupted because we failed to plan properly.  It's true that some things can't be avoided.  But that doesn't mean we should try.  The longer it takes for you to find supplies, decide which songs to sing, or answer the question the Pastor popped in to ask you, the more likely you are to have issues with classroom management.  So be organized.  Show up early to lay out everything you'll need for the day.  Have a clear plan typed out and handed to each of your teammates before kids arrive.  Communicate policies to all stakeholders (parents, kids, church personnel) so that they know what you expect.  By planning you can minimize the number of unneccessary interruptions you have to face and the number of chances kids have to let loose.

Classroom management isn't easy.  You may have 2 or 3 kids at home but very few of us are trying to parent 10-15 kids at a time.  Don't beat yourself for times things don't work out but learn to do better next time.  We can all grow and improve in making our classes a safe and happy place.


Lake Region Conference Training: Upgrade 2.0

Lake Region Conference Youth Ministries will be sponsoring a training November 22 & 23 for many areas of ministry including Pathfinder and Adventurer training.  Gues presenters include Pastor Vandeon Griffith (South Central Conference Youth Director), Pastor Ron Whitehead (Center for Youth Evangelism Director), and Gene Clapp (Texas Conference Pathfinder Director/NAD Pathfinder Bible Experience Coordinator).  Training will feature the new AYMT along with Pathfinder and Adventurer training.  For more information visit their website.

Websites We Love

Have 20 minutes to improve your work in Children's Ministries? Check out the Children's Ministry Talk Podcast.  New podcasts are uploaded monthly and provide ideas and encouragement for Children's Ministries leaders.  For more information click here.

Upcoming Events

Pathfinder/Adventurer Leadership Training


Hispanic Children's Sabbath School Quarterly Training

Cactusville Children's Church


Cactusville Children's Church

Who Would Guess?

Thank you to Patty Marsh, Children's Ministries Director of Upper Columbia Conference, for sharing this wonderful story with us!

A current story from the trenches . . .


Adventist Community Church of Vancouver (WA) is currently involved with an Prophecy DeCoded evangelistic series with guest speaker, Ron Clouzet, from NAD Evangelism Institute. Meetings will be at least 20 nights (2 sessions same topic each night).  How I know is my daughter, Laura Pascoe, was asked to head up the children’s programming.  What fun it has been dialoging with her about what could be done beyond the “same oh, same oh . . . .”

The Plan

Her children’s plan was approved with a modest budget (in comparison to what is spent for the adults).  Part of this children’s budget includes honorariums for special guest speakers whose topics include:

·         Exotic animals
·         Mad Scientists
·         Fun in the Kitchen
·         And others

The cost of these excellent presenters ranges from $125 to $350 per double session.  After the presentation a strong spiritual program follows for the children covering the evening’s topic.

Friday’s story

Last Friday evening the Reptile Man did an amazing presentation – 120 children and parents attended the children’s portion in the fellowship hall.  At the end of the evening Pastor Roger Walter asked my daughter, “How much did you pay for this evening’s presentation?”  This one was the most expensive at $350.  He said, “Cheap enough . . .” Why? Because on the big nights offering an excellent special feature, the total attendance went up 100!


And how are these children’s features advertised?  Only by Facebook and word of mouth (FREE!).  On Thursday my daughter Facebooks to the 1,000 + God’s Closet contacts and her abundant friends.  They in turn forward and forward more.  You may have noticed – many of the younger generation do not plan too much ahead.

Last Friday night she counted 25 God’s Closet children at the first session plus some families who have not graced the doors of the Adventist church for many years.

Who would guess?

2015 VBS Coming Soon!

Destination Paradise VBS is currently in it's final phases and we can't wait to share it with you!  But for now you can check out the trailer on the Kids' Ministry Ideas website.