Restoring harmony to an unruly classroom

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor’s Christian Science Perspective column, January 5, 2022.

As a teacher , I always feel excitement and anticipation as the first day of the school year approaches. Last year, it started out well, but everything changed during one of my classes. The kids were unruly, loud, and disrespectful to me and to each other. If one student inappropriately yelled something out, others would laugh, and they would feed off each other’s attention.

I didn’t want to yell, single anyone out, or send anyone to the principal’s office on the first day. So, I did my best to keep moving forward, hoping for the hour to pass quickly. But it appeared I had no authority and the students were out of control. I barely made it through the hour-long class, and afterward I questioned, “How can I come back to school tomorrow? Have I lost my knack? Should I be doing something different?”

That night, I woke up and the idea came to me to pray. Two thoughts came to mind from the Bible: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). And: “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:2). I knew that I could draw nigh to Love, God, by seeing that divine Love was the “one mind,” and that this Mind was at work in my classroom. I also saw that as God’s children, the students could be receptive to this Love.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.