When you are developing your classroom rules this year, you may want to consider a couple of Scripture passages to provide a framework for acceptable behaviors. You will, of course, need to create succinct rules such as “Follow directions,” “Seek permission to get out of your seat by raising your hand,” “Raise your hand to speak to the class,” “You may not eat or drink in class,” “Be respectful to yourself and others,” etc. The following passages from Scripture might be used as additional guidance for your students. If you use them, post them on the wall with your other classroom procedures/rules. Constantly refer back to them as standards of behavior.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you, and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves…Admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus…Test everything, retain what is good. Refrain from ever kind of evil.”
Activity: Reflecting on the Rules
My wife used this verse as a guide for her fourth graders. At the end of the day/class or after students misbehaved, she used these Scripture verses as reflection questions. Did you love your neighbor today? Were you patient today? Were you kind? Jealous? Rude? Quick-tempered? etc.
Activity: Weekly Reflection
The verses could also be used as a kind of “virtue of the week.” Each week you may have students focus on patience, kindness, respecting teachers/principal (“those laboring among you”), cheering the fainthearted, supporting the weak, praying without ceasing, etc.