The following post was written by Cindy Morris, Childhood Ministries Coordinator of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
Teaching kids can be intimidating. However, a little preparation and research can fully equip you to share valuable lessons with a class full of excited children. Here are five pieces of advice for your new role as a teacher:
- Know the children you teach. Study the general characteristics for the age group you will be teaching. This will help as you plan the learning activities. As you teach the children in your classroom, you will get to know their specific characteristics. This information will guide the way you teach.
- Start planning early in the week. Begin with the Personal Bible Study in your leader guide. You can’t teach what you don’t know! This Bible study will prepare you personally and give God an opportunity to speak His directions to you. Take a look at the learning activities and resources needed. Begin to think of how you can use Bible conversation during learning activities. How will you reinforce the Life Application?
- Arrive EARLY! I like to arrive 20-30 minutes before Sunday School. This allows time to set up the classroom and create a good teaching environment. Be prepared to greet children at eye level when opening the door. Express love in your greeting, and tell the child you are happy he came to Sunday School. Get any needed information from the parent, use the security system your church has in place, and help the child get settled into a learning activity.
- Follow up with guests and absentees each week.
- Evaluate the Sunday School experience. Which learning activities were successful for using the Life Application? What should be done differently for group time? What did you learn about the children you teach?
What’s worked in your classroom? Is there any advice you would give new teachers? Leave a comment with your answers!
As a first time teacher, I would let them know 1) that depending on the age of the child, they may not be ready to enter the room with a new face. It’s not you, it’s just that the child is not used to you in there yet. 2) You may walk away from the experience not thinking you connected or impacted any child that day. It’s okay. You’ll be surprised what they absorbed for good more than you think. Growth happens on a daily basis, doesn’t happen in a day. 3) Take the time to share things about yourself to the kids. Stories are sticky.