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Keeping Your Program From Derailing

Faith Tyson

Use these helpful tools to keep your teachers on track

Are your teachers on track? If not, your entire program could end up in a massive derailment. Use this 10-question "Pop Quiz" and teacher training meeting to keep your program from jumping the track.

POP QUIZ

1. Why are you working in children's ministry?

a. Because no one else will do it.
b. Because someone asked me.
c. Because this is my ministry.

2. How is your spiritual life?

a. I manage to pray before meals sometimes.
b. I have my ups and downs.
c. I'm excited about serving God, and I'm growing spiritually.

3. Do you have goals for yourself and your children's ministry kids?

a. No, I never thought about it.
b. Yes, but I need to focus more on them.
c. Yes, I know exactly where we're heading and how we'll get there.

4. Do you understand the age and spiritual maturity of the children in your class?

a. No, I never thought it really made a difference.
b. Yes, but I'm not sure what difference it makes in my ministry.
c. Yes, I take advantage of learning all I can about these factors.

5. Do you use different teaching methods in order to reach different learning styles?

a. I'm best at teaching the same way all the time.
b. What's a learning style?
c. Yes, I use different approaches in teaching.

6. Do you build relationships with the children by showing interest in them individually?

a. Who has time?
b. I don't know how.
c. I enjoy the kids and care for them as individuals.

7. Do you build in time for response during your lessons?

a. Not unless my curriculum says to.
b. How exactly do I do that?
c. I always have time for kids to respond.

8. Do you seek to know where children are in their faith development?

a. That's such a private matter.
b. If it comes up, we talk about it.
c. I always give children time to talk about their faith and how it relates to their life.

9. Do you have a plan to reach out to other kids to get them involved in your class?

a. I'm not very good at that kind of stuff.
b. I depend on the kids to ask other kids.
c. I'm currently in touch with several kids to encourage them to join our class.

10. Do you have a discipline plan that works well in your class?

a. You bet I do! And kids are afraid for me to use it!
b. Not really. But things seem to be working okay.
c. Yes. We have a few rules for our class, and I enforce consequences consistently.

Scoring:

If you marked mostly "c," congratulations. You're on the right track most of the time. Keep on moving and remember to look to God, the Engineer, to help you change kids' lives.

If you marked mostly "b," you probably feel sidetracked some of the time. Pull your train into the station for retooling with consistent teacher training.

If you marked mostly "a," you may feel you're about to derail. And you're not alone. This is how most teachers feel. Choose one or two areas you'd like to grow in and ask your Sunday school coordinator or children's pastor to help you become stronger in those areas.

TEACHER TRAINING MEETING

1. Planning for the Trip-Photocopy and cut apart a "Ticket to Terrific Teaching" card for each teacher. Wear a conductor's hat, overalls, and a bandanna to this meeting. Use a train whistle to get teachers' attention during the meeting.

2. All Aboard-When teachers arrive, form trios. Have teachers work together in their trios to make a list of 10 qualities of a good teacher, such as devoted, fun, energetic, responsible, prayerful, and loving. When they're done, have teachers call out qualities they've listed. Note on a sheet of newsprint the qualities mentioned.

3. Luggage Check-Give each teacher a photocopy of the "Pop Quiz" from page XX and a pencil. Have teachers each take the quiz. Encourage them to answer honestly. Afterward, have teachers pair up with a traveling companion. Have companions each tell a strong area they can praise God for in themselves and a weak spot where they'd like help or prayer. Have partners pray together.

4. The Conductor Says-Go through each question on the "Pop Quiz." Lead teachers in discussing why "c" is the best answer for each question. Ask teachers to tell their secrets to success in each area.

5. Tickets, Please-Set out photocopies of the "Ticket to Terrific Teaching" cards. One at a time, have teachers give another teacher a ticket and say, "Our children's ministry is on track because you..." Make sure everyone receives a ticket.

TICKET TO TERRIFIC TEACHING

  • Cost: Dedication and sacrifice
  • Destination: Reaching children for Jesus Christ
  • Fuel Source: God's guidance through the Holy Spirit
  • Jesus: Don't Leave Home Without Him!
  • Page 1
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