During Teacher Appreciation Month at our church, we recognized
the teachers for their sacrifice and dedication in meeting the
needs of our children. Each Sunday we surprised them with something
*First Sunday-We gave them a teacher's pin with a
verse telling how important they are to God.
*Second Sunday-We gave them gifts (all under $2) with notes attached to each of
the wrapped items. For example, for a PayDay candy bar the note
read "What a payday you'll have in heaven."
*Third Sunday-Kids gave the teachers thank-you
letters for being such great teachers. We wrote letters to children
asking them to write a letter to their teacher but to keep it a
secret. Then children sent their letters to the church the week
before. We delivered the letters to the teachers during Sunday
school. Our teachers were so pleased to get these letters!
*Fourth Sunday-During our worship service, we
gave a slide presentation showing the teachers interacting with the
children. We also used this as a tool to recruit more
*Fifth Sunday-The pastor recognized the teachers
during the Sunday services. The teachers stood as the congregation
The teachers have commented how loved and appreciated they felt
during this month. Many of them are now planning to continue to
teach because of their renewed enthusiasm.
"BACH" TO BASICS
Affirm your teachers with this melodic idea. Play symphonic music
as teachers arrive for your next teacher-training meeting. As an
opener, ask them to tell which instrument they are most like as
they teach. For example, someone may say, "I'm like a flute because
I quietly share God's beautiful truth." Or someone may say, "I'm a
big bass drum because I like lots of loud activity as kids
Give each person a Symphony candy bar. Say: When we all work
together, we create our own symphony and make beautiful music for
To support and appreciate our teachers, we've set aside a room on
Sundays just for teachers. In this room, we have
*Coffee and juice;
*Light snacks, such as muffins;
*A Bible verse to encourage or challenge teachers;
*Resource information such as a brochure on parenting, an
encouraging article, or helpful teaching ideas for future lessons.
I make sure there's something new and different to keep them
checking back each week; and
*Me! While this room reminds the teachers that our church values
their ministry, there's nothing more beneficial to teachers than a
personal relationship with the children's pastor. I spend time in
the room getting to know teachers better.
Evaluations are an important and integral part of a successful
ministry. With this easy-to-use checklist, you can successfully
help your volunteers become superior teachers.
Give evaluations once or twice a year. As you observe teachers,
remain objective. After the observation, set up a one-to-one
meeting with the teacher in an area free of distractions.
Go over each item and explain your evaluation. Ask the teacher to
tell you how he or she feels about each item. Suggest several ways
the volunteer can grow in any weak areas. Ask the teacher to choose
a plan for improvement.
Note: Be generous with praise and focus on the positive. However,
make sure you give each volunteer at least one tangible thing to
work on to become a better teacher.
Circle the number that applies (1=needs improvement and
arrives early to prepare the room. 1 2 3 4 5
prepares well. 1 2 3 4 5
begins teaching when the first child
arrives. 1 2 3 4 5
pays attention to each child. 1 2 3 4 5
praises children for their efforts as well
as their achievements. 1 2 3 4 5
lovingly maintains classroom discipline. 1 2 3 4 5
participates in activities with enthusiasm. 1 2 3 4 5
tells the lesson in an interesting way. 1 2 3 4 5
provides hands-on activities to
reinforce objectives. 1 2 3 4 5
gives advance notice when absent. 1 2 3 4 5
cooperates with other teachers. 1 2 3 4 5
cleans the room when class is over. 1 2 3 4 5
A RECRUITMENT PLAN
Tired of having all the recruiting fall square on your shoulders?
Try this self-propagating teacher recruitment plan. In nine months,
your teachers can do the recruiting for you and train new teachers
on the job.
Ask teachers to make a nine-month commitment. Each quarter,
establish these goals for teachers:
*First quarter-The lead teacher looks for gifted
people in the congregation who may have untapped talents for the
children's ministry. The lead teacher encourages at least one other
person to help him or her teach in the next quarter.
*Second quarter-The two teach together, with the
lead teacher maintaining primary responsibility and assigning parts
of the lesson to the team teacher. The team teacher recruits an
assistant who can help out in the next quarter.
*Third quarter-The team teacher takes over the
responsibilities of the lead teacher. The lead teacher leads parts
of the lesson as assigned by the team teacher.
*Fourth quarter-The original lead teacher takes a
break. The team teacher becomes the lead teacher. And the assistant
becomes the team teacher. The process starts all over again.
What about the original lead teacher when the break is over and he
or she is ready to teach again? Plug that person into another class
and start the process again.
Copyright© Group Publishing, Inc. / Children's Ministry