Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What is gentleness in the classroom?

As I began reflecting on what it means to have gentleness in the classroom, I felt so inadequate because I don’t feel gentle most of the time. It is one of the parts of the Fruit of the Spirit that is a weakness for me and often an area of repentance.  However, as a grandma, I relish the opportunity to be gentle with my granddaughters by giving them a place where they are safe, comfortable and at peace. Isn’t that what we all strive for in our classrooms? Don’t we aspire to create an atmosphere that is safe, pleasant, calm, comfortable and peaceful? Gentleness is our ability to give others that sense of “I want to be here.” Gentleness in the classroom is our purposeful attempt to make all our students, even the unlovables, feel safe and welcomed.  No learning can begin until there is that sense of trust and reliability. Being gentle does not mean weakness.  In fact, it takes a lot more strength to be gentle under adverse conditions than to be powerful. Anyone can intimidate a child into conforming, but it takes the Spirit of God to consistently be gentle on a daily basis.

What might a gentle classroom look like? One of the synonyms for gentle is placid. As a lake without ripples, waves or turbulence, a gentle classroom will have a sense of calm. As the gentle leader, our students will respond to “events” in our classrooms as we do.  Ask any substitute teacher about classroom personalities. If the teacher is loud, the class is often loud.  If the teacher is calm and soft spoken, the class, in general, takes on those qualities. It’s a great experiment to test this theory.  Speak in your normal tone while giving instructions or lecture and then mix it up with a very soft voice. Our students will immediately notice the difference, perhaps strain to listen, and if given the opportunity to respond, they will answer in a quiet tone.  Our classrooms environments are set by our standards, our mannerisms and our display of the Fruit of the Spirit.  Let’s be purposeful in being gentle to these precious children we will inevitably be making an impact. Let’s strive to be gentler in order to give our students a calm, orderly, and safe place to learning.

The greatest teacher who ever lived, Jesus, was described as gentle shepherd. What a compliment if we could be like Him! These four verses are my favorite reference to gentle in the Word.  May you and your students be blessed with a gentle classroom this year.

Proverbs 15:1
 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Matthew 11:29
 - Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Philippians 4:5
 - Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

1 Peter 3:15
 -But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Prayerfully yours,

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

PS. Don’t forget to spread the word about the 1:16PM Prayer Movement and Around the Word in 180 Days:
•      Go to  and for more information.
•      Visit,  "like", and add comments the 1:16PM Facebook page and the Around the World in 180 days Facebook page.
•      Sign up for text message prayer prompts from Remind 101 

May God bless you with success His way this 2015-2016 school year.

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.

Christian Educators Association International is the only professional association in the United States specifically for Christian educators in public schools.  CEAI protects our members first in prayer, next with excellent professional liability insurance and other benefits while helping them live out their high calling as a Christian in the public school.