Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday School update

In September, I mentioned that I was going be teaching Sunday School at our church. I was assigned five students with two of them coming every other week. The plan was to have a large group time with all the students and then break up into our smaller classes for the last 10-15 minutes for more individualized instruction. Well, it is now April and I am the only teacher left!
Three weeks into the school year, the superintendent and her family left the church unexpectedly and permanently. So the other teacher and I cobbled together a plan each week and covered for each other's absences. Between us and another girl who helped with the singing time, we have managed to continue nicely through the year.
March brought an engagement and May wedding plans to the other remaining teacher who will be joining her new husband at his church and ministry. In order to prepare for this transition, she is attending church with him now and has finished her Sunday School duties. I am very happy for her and do not mind her absence one bit.
I am now the only teacher for a widely varying number of children who range in ages from 2.5 to 10 years old. I still have help with the singing time and helping keeping the children attentive as we have a few on and off visitors who are becoming acclimated to the whole concept of Sunday School. We usually start off with a quick snack, followed by some singing time, share the Bible lesson and end with a activity or quick craft. The order changes from week to week with the exception of the snack time. That always comes first! Because we transitioned through the school year, my original students have a small notebook that we have been using to write in after the lesson. With the change in class size and arrangements, I have given my students their books and instructions for them while helping the younger kids do another writing or coloring craft or paper. A few weeks have been very busy as the kids were all at the same table but working on different projects. One particular solo Sunday in March, brought three little ones who could only scribble with crayons, three kindergardeners who could write their names and cut and paste with scissors and glue and my three students who had their notebooks to work in. It was a challenge to keep everyone busy and on-task, but everyone helped each other and shared the various supplies quite easily. But I'm glad that doesn't happen every week.
I enjoy the time with the kids and I think that a few of them are actually remembering the lessons and enjoying the time together. There are a few others who would rather be outside playing or running around the building with playmates. They are the hardest to keep interested and on-task. However, I'm not above speaking to them about their uhhh, distracting behavior and requesting that it be stopped and desisted from in the future.
But surprisingly my low-tech Betty Luken flannel graph(inherited from my grandfather and mother)is always a big hit.
They sit mesmerized by the figures and scenery. And having them participate by answering questions about who the people are or what will happen next on the board helps keep the lesson flowing. If we haven't used the flannel graph in a few weeks one of the kids usually asks why I don't have the story board. Who knew colored scraps of fabric could be so entertaining to kids in the high-tech era? :)
All in all, I have had a great year working with the kids and it makes me glad that I signed up to help even if I have ended up teaching all the kids now. My elementary education background certainly has helped in countless ways which hopefully has made my student loans seem worthwhile. :)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Sounds like the old one-room schoolhouse concept to me:-)


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