Setting expectations 

When teaching a lesson, I usually think and ask myself, “What is the outcome that I want my students to achieve and how will they get there?”

Children need structure and rules. Without rules, children do not learn the appropriate way to behave. Without structure, children will not learn the culture of the house (FreedomHouse). 

In our home, my husband and I set expectations for our own children.  We let them know what we expect from them ahead of time, whether we are going to a birthday party, or going to church. When they decide to not abide by one of our expectations, (rule), we set them aside and firmly let them know, “that’s not our culture”(that’s not what we do in our family, our home). However, when kids don’t know what is expected, they may act up. Then, we find ourselves saying things like, “don’t do that!… Why are you doing that?!…” We haven’t set expectations, rules, and therefore, no structure. 

During your time with FreedomHouse kidz, follow a routine, be direct, and have fun! 

Get kids attention. Getting and keeping kids attention is important, and required to be an effective FreedomHouse teacher. Attention getters need to be taught. 

For example, I can say (verbal): “When I get to zero, I need everyone in their seat and be ready to listen… Ready, 5,4,3,2,1,0, thank you. I see everyone is ready.” Another example, non verbal, hold up a picture of 2 eyes 👀 with words under it that says “Eyes on me.”

Attention getters can be verbal, with a sound signal or your voice, or non-verbal like a picture of eyes. 👀

There are times that you will need to repeat the attention getter. Remember, you need everyone’s attention. You can say, “let’s try this again.” Bear in mind to Make it fun!  Here are some attention getter ideas. Attention Getters

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. ~Romans 13:1

Now that you have  everyone’s attention, you can begin. 

1. Welcome kids. Welcome new and old friends to FreedomHouse Kidz. 

2. Review rules. Be honest. Show Respect. Be loving. If you need to give brief examples of being honest, being respectful, being loving, do so. Kids can also share what they think it means to be respectful and honest and loving. Have them raise their hands to share. Don’t allow them share out loud  without you calling on them. This creates chaos and it’s not showing respect for the teacher or others.

*Reviewing rules is a review for kids whose family are members of FreedomHouse. But, rules are also new to those first time guests.  

3. Review agenda  (things that will be done at FreedomHouse Kidz)

  1. Welcome
  2. Prayer
  3. Worship
  4. Offering
  5. Bible verse from last week
  6. Story
  7. Break into groups
  • Snack
  • Craft
  • Play

    8. Dismissal 

4 Groups: I have observed 3 different ways to split kids up in 3 groups. There are (+) positives and (-)negatives. 

  • Number off. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3….          +This creates heterogenous groups 

        +It can separates kids who you may     not want together because of behavior.

        +different ages in each group

        – However, this can also lead to some kids not wanting to go with their designated group because none of their friends are there. You just need to be vigilant in making sure groups are mixed up (such as seperating challenging children, mixing genders, mixing ages) 

         – It may be difficult to teach a group with different ages.           

    • By Age or grade. You can ask kids to get in groups by grade level. 

      K/1 (5-6 years old, some may be 7) 2nd/3rd (7-8 year olds, some may be 9) 4th/5th (9-10 year olds). 

    + This allows for the teacher to teach each group differently. The way you would approach a lesson with one age group, will be different from another. 

    -The negative would be that one group may have more kids than another and possibly more behavior issues.           

      • Equal number of kids in each group. If you have, for example, 32 kids, divided by 3 groups, 10-11 kids per group. Teacher numbers 1 to 11 and tells that group to line up. So on and so forth. Again, same as first grouping above: 

      +It can create heterogenous groups
      – If kids  are numbered 1-10 together, it could be a group of almost all girls; or mostly 10 year olds (because they were sitting together). 

        Split kids how it works best for the team. Decide ahead of time how you will group kids and who will do what.

        Setting this structure and rules, will help children know what is expected from them. This helps develop the overall culture of FreedomHouse.  

        Scriptures on Rules

        Scriptures on Structure

        Scriptures on Expectations


        11 thoughts on “Setting expectations 

        1. These are such great tools for the classroom & I love that the objective of this post shows that by implementing this structure & set of rules they will be learning the culture of Freedomhouse! We are teaching our future leaders!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Setting exceptions is something that will can utilize not only in our classroom but in our daily lives. Great ideas and tools to help teachers feel confident in the words and actions they choose to use.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Very good. I especially like the attention getters and we can even apply breaking up kids in the smaller classes…like in nursery one teacher per 3-4 babies and keeping them busy so we aren’t scrambling with diaper changes etc!!!

          Liked by 1 person

        4. I want to thank you, I’ve set the kids in the K/1, 2/3, 4/5 group in the 9am class these last two weeks. So, maybe school age can set up with the groups in the number off count 1,2,3,4,5,… these next two times in the 9am classroom. The kids do get to stay with their friend or sibling, and make new friendships too. Irene thanks again for your insight. Loved the scriptures on structure: The Beatitudes; seeing the crowds (seeing the FreedomHouse Kidz) j

          Liked by 1 person

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