“Sunday Schools” were first established in the 1700’s in Britain to educate poor children on how to read and write. These children worked six days a week, were very poor and many were starving.
Today, public school systems teach our kids the “three R’s” but little about God or His Word. Enter the Sunday School teacher!
If you’ve decided to become a Christian educator, you are joining the ranks of a long, proud line of selfless servants who love God and kids. If you are learning how to teach Sunday School, there are some practical keys you should know. Once you have the basics, read our next article on becoming an awesome Sunday School teacher.
1. Know the ages of your children. The curriculum may cover several ages or grades but to really grab kids’ attention, you’ll need to apply the “Minute Rule.” If you teach 8-year olds, you have eight minutes to cover each section. If you teach 6-years, you’ll have 6 minutes. Keep the material appropriate for the age of the children.
2. Use the Bible translation preferred by your church. Some churches may prefer King James Version others may like teachers to use the New International Version. Double-check before you begin teaching.
3. Prepare ahead of time. Kids that see their teacher unprepared and unorganized will translate that to “She really doesn’t care about the class, or me.” Don’t wait till the night before or the morning of class to go over your listen. You’ll need time to gather your supplies and pray over the lesson.
4. Include a variety of activities. Don’t plan to talk the entire time. Kids need interaction, they like stretching their muscles. Include a section for physical movement, crafting and expressions of worship. This should be part of your weekly curriculum.
5. Promote attendance by using special charts or posters. Place star stickers next to each child’s name when they attend Sunday School. Use incentives for attendance like small prizes or fun activities.
6. Arrange the room in a kid friendly manner. Kids need the appropriate tables and chairs for comfort. Also, decorate with bright colors that draw kids’ eyes. Use cut out decorations like scenes from the Bible on a bulletin board or taped to the walls. Have Bible puzzles and coloring materials on tables waiting for kids who are early.
7. Use music. Play music softly in the background during the welcome portion of your Sunday School class. This sends a signal that class is about to begin.
8. Stick to the curriculum. Some Sunday Schools teach the same subject to all grades at the same time. Don’t “go rogue” if you are having difficulties. Communicate with your Sunday School Superintendent. Let someone know if the curriculum is inappropriate.
9. Pray before the class and in the classroom. Incorporate an opening prayer and closing prayer into the lesson.
Sunday School is a wonderful way to educate children about God and His Word. Take some time to get to know the children and build relationships with each one. Kids love the teachers that love them!
Read more about Mimi at her website, Encouragement for Christians.