I love teaching kids about God and His kingdom but I’ll admit, sometimes my teaching feels a bit stale. Like many kids’ ministry teachers, I didn’t undergo any professional teacher training. I’ve stumbled (and sometimes fumbled) along until I’ve found some techniques that seem to make an impact.
These ideas focus on teaching Sunday School, but school teachers can also apply many of these same ideas.
Professional or not, good teaching can make a real impact in kids’ lives. Try these 10 teaching tips in your next class.
1. Follow the Minute Rule. Here’s how it works. Poll your class to find the median age of your students. If your students’ age average is 10 years old, you should teach in 10 minute blocks. If your students’ average age is 4 years old, you should teach in 4 minute blocks. Kids will tune you out after that.
2. Take the class to different places. Go outside, sit under a tree. Put blankets on the floor of the classroom and have a picnic. Mix up the teaching venue. Jesus did and it worked!
3. Ask children to respond. Just repeating key words will keep the learning involved. For example, when reading a Bible verse or story I ask kids to repeat a phrase back to me. It catches their attention and ropes their imaginations back in.
4. Always use object lessons. Kids need and want visuals. Drive concepts like faith and God’s holiness home by using objects to explain how they work.
5. Break up long lessons with team play and games. Use fun as a reward and a tool for reviewing what they’ve just learned.
6. Offer immediate feedback. Use question and answer sessions throughout each lesson. Be prepared to answer questions about all subjects though.
7. Invite guests to speak to your class. This helps connect learning with life. Consider missions workers, Christian musicians, or just regular people who integrate faith into their vocation.
8. Keep learning. Stay curious. For Sunday School teachers it’s essential to keep hungry for God’s Word. A healthy Bible reading habit keeps a teacher ready for spontaneous lessons and gives their students special teaching nuggets.
9. Consider incentives. This will depend on your teaching style and class personality. Verbal praise is always the most powerful but occasional prizes can help the kids focus. Consider the pros & cons before announcing extrinsic rewards.
10. Do the unexpected. While having a set schedule is comforting for some kids, it gets boring after while. Always come back to your set schedule but don’t be afraid to do things differently. Don’t be too predictable. Shake it up by doing something unexpected.
We’d love to hear back your best ideas for becoming a better teacher. Simply leave a comment below to encourage other readers with your own tips.