In each issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine we offer exclusive extra content, ideas, and downloadables found only at childrensministry.com as a benefit to our readers. Use these Web Extras to help you as you minister to children and their families.
1. From “Going Nowhere Fast?” Ideas for finding and adding volunteers:
2. From “Going Nowhere Fast?”
Check out this guide for teacher-child ratios: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/earlycld/ea1lk7-1.htm
Closing A Full Classroom
When teacher/student ratios are exceeded in a classroom, kids aren’t safe anymore–and volunteers aren’t happy. Let parents know that for the safety of children and to ensure quality in the classroom, your numbers have reached capacity and the classroom needs to be closed.
What to Say
Be at the door to meet parents in person. Don’t put up a sign and walk away. Be empathetic. Let parents know your team is working on opening more classrooms as soon as space and volunteers allow for it. Share what you’re doing to rectify the situation. Let the child know that the room is very full and you hope that you’ll see him or her next week. Give parents an activity bag with coloring sheets, crayons, and fruit snacks for the child to use in a worship setting or adult classroom. Provide contact information if the parents want to talk about it further.
What NOT to Say
Don’t dump your pent-up frustrations on the parent. Whining won’t attract volunteers! Don’t blame your children’s council, elder board, or anyone else for developing such a “ridiculous and strict” policy. Uphold and support why this policy is important for the safety of children. Don’t blame the parents for not volunteering their time if the room is closed due to volunteer/child ratio. Gently invite them to be part of the solution so it doesn’t happen again.