Helping Volunteers Learn to Teach

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All volunteers need two things: encouragement and recognition but there’s a few that want a little more. They want to learn to teach! You’ve inspired them to lead children to Jesus or they feel that God has called them specifically to teach kids about His Word. God does most growth work behind the scenes, internally speaking to fledgling leaders. Still as a leader yourself, it’s only right that you offer any help you can and teach them what you know.
So how do you do it?
I like using the “show-tell-do” method. My volunteers don’t have to worry or stress that I’m going to plant them in front of a Sunday School class if they aren’t ready. I take training seriously, even if the volunteer has some experience teaching. First, I offer a demonstration or a series of demonstration. For a few weeks, the aspiring leader joins me as I teach, taking notes if necessary.
After I’ve shown them what I do, I meet with the volunteer to explain to them what I did and why I did it that way. For example, I always play soft music for the children that arrive early to Sunday School. I explained to my volunteer that soft music keeps kids mindful of their inside voices. That might be obvious to some, but not to someone who has no experience teaching kids.
Next, I let them do it. During this session I don’t correct or offer cues unless asked. Hands on training should be hands on. I remain quietly at the back of the class and point children towards the “teacher” if they come to me for something.
When the class is over,  we have a coffee and chat about the experience. I ask questions like “What do you think was a success?” and “What do you think needs more work?” I allow my helper to speak freely, offering encouragement when needed. If I see gaping holes in their procedure, like no games planned or skipped the memory verse, I’ll gently remind him or her that those need to be worked on.
I’ve found that people do want to help but not all want to teach. It’s good to encourage everyone to grow in God but give some extra guidance to the brave souls that want to serve God in this area. It’s so rewarding!

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