It’s that time of year where we’re all searching for and enlisting new teachers for our ongoing Bible study classes. Below are some “basics” that might be helpful to share with new teachers. These tips can help any new teacher present like a seasoned pro!
- Plan and Prepare. The best session is a prepared session. Regardless of the curriculum you use it will need to be prepared. Developing the habit of planning early can remove the Saturday night (or Sunday morning) stress of weekly teaching prep.
- Start early in the week and do a little each day.
- Look over the biblical content early in the week to allow God the opportunity to use your comings and goings to reinforce the Bible truths in your life.
- Review the session plan for resources you might need to gather and secure those things while you’re out during the week.
- Arrive Early. A good rule of thumb is to be in place 15 minutes before the scheduled time to begin. Arriving early allows time to catch your breath, prepare the room, and have a smile on your face when the kids arrive. It’s true that the first person in the room wins. Make sure that person is you.
- Start Teaching When the First Child Enters the Room. Don’t waste a minute! Be prepared and be ready for the first child and begin teaching. Some curriculums provide for early arrival activities. Use them! If yours doesn’t, consider Bible skill games and activities as an option for early arrivers (or while waiting for parental pick up at the end of the session). Don’t have kids wait idly for “the rest of the group.” Prepare activities that can begin with one child and add others as they arrive. If kids sit still too long they’ll come up with something to do on their own and it’s not likely to be something that teaches biblical truths and skills.
- Build Relationships. It’s an old adage but it’s very true, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” The best way to make sure that kids and their families know that you care is by building relationships with them individually. Determine a strategy for getting to know the kids and their families. Understand some general characteristics of the age group you’re teaching, trends that influence your kids, and personal likes and dislikes of individual kids. Learn about their families, schools, sports, and hobbies then use that information to build relationships. Don’t forget relationships with parents. This doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning. Take the time to speak to parents and find opportunities to equip them with helps to be the spiritual leaders in their kid’s lives.
- Provide and Safe and Secure Environment. Make yourself familiar with your church’s policies and procedures and be intentional about adhering to them. Always have two adults in the room whenever minor children (anyone under the age of 18) are present. Go out of your way to protect the kids, protect yourself, protect your church, and protect the Kingdom.
Teachers often don’t live up to our expectations because they don’t know what we expect. Share, train, equip, and resource your new (and seasoned) teachers!
Bill Emeott serves as Lead Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids. A graduate of Mercer University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Bill has served as a Kid’s Minister and currently teaches 2nd Grade Bible study.