Don't Smile Until Christmas

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Okay, that advice might be a little extreme, but the first few weeks of Sunday school are critical. You have to let kids know that you care about them, but you also have to lay down the law. If you set the bar high, you’ll be able to show your soft, friendly side as the year unfolds. But start off slack with the rules, and you’ll be the wicked witch of the west the first time you say “no!” Before you know it, your kids will be talking over each other, teasing the new kid, and running with scissors… It could get ugly!
For teachers like me, this is not easy advice. I love kids—I want to laugh and joke with them. I like it when they’re silly! But in order to learn and grow together I have to let them know that I’m in charge. They take their cues from me about when it’s time to laugh and joke and when it’s time to quietly reflect, or sing, or pray. That’s why the first couple weeks are so critical. We spend time talking about what we will do each time we meet together and how we will treat each other. We agree on rules that everyone will abide by, and set consequences for when expectations aren't met. With the basics in place, we're ready for a great season together.
What are your top three classroom expectations?

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