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Have you ever heard the saying, “the best defense is a good offense?” It’s a phrase usually used in sports. But, we think that’s true for Sunday School too! So here are some tips to help you improve your offense as you enter the field of Sunday school teaching and begin managing your own classroom each week:
Use these posters to decorate your classroom and serve as reminders about what they’re learning.
The best way to have a calm class that fosters both fun and learning is to be organized and have a good plan in hand. If you as the teacher aren’t organized and don’t have a plan for how the morning will flow, your class may quickly get out of hand, especially during “dead” times as you move from one activity to another. Proper planning ensures these transitions are seamless, leaving little time for the class to get antsy.
If you’re new to teaching, sit down and grab a coffee with the previous teacher and find out what he or she did that worked. Don’t feel that you must do everything the way they did, but it can give you a good place to start as you enter into the exciting adventure of teaching.
Children thrive on consistency as they always know what to expect. Your rules can be simple (i.e., one person talks at a time) but keep them consistent. In my preschool class, I have two rules; sit during lesson time and put on your listening ears (be quiet). If the kids start talking (which they frequently do!), I tell them to “put a bubble in their mouth” (puff out their cheeks), something the previous teacher suggested. The kids love it, and it forces them to stop talking and listen to the lesson.
For example, make the more “difficult” children your helpers. If you have one or two children who tend to disrupt the class by talking, interrupting, or bothering other children; consider making them your helpers. They can hand out pencils or Bibles, help you with the lesson, help set up games or snacks, etc.
If you have two children who frequently have trouble sitting next to each other, separate them ahead of time to avoid an issue. If the children seem like their parents fed them pure sugar or coffee for breakfast that morning, consider altering your timeline a bit to include an extra high-energy game or song with actions to wear a little bit of that excess energy off. Many of the ABC songs are easy to incorporate high-energy movements into with just a bit of creativity, and the kids love it.
You want children to love coming to Sunday school, so be sure to consistently and frequently recognize them for the good things they are doing and how pleased God is with obedience. Keep the tone of your classroom friendly, upbeat, and fun.
As a teacher, you’ve taken on an important role in your local church. You are helping shape the next generation—including future pastors, Sunday school teachers, and parents! Don’t grow weary or lose heart. Keep planting seeds and trusting God with the harvest.
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