A child's personality develops and his or her character grows in a spiral manner like climbing a spiral staircase. As the child gets to a new level he or she may ask the same question over and over again. A wise teacher will observe this process in her pupils and adapt accordingly. A big factor in this infant growth is the influence of the teacher which is the second side in any meaningful relationship.✞
Beatrice Clelland (1912-1997) wrote a beautiful poem called "Indwelt" which is often quoted regarding expressing Christ. It begins, "Not merely in the words you say, Not only in your deeds confessed,
but most unconsciously is Christ expressed.✞
Is it a beautiful smile, a holy light upon your brow?
Oh, no! I felt his presence while you laughed just now.✞
For me, was not the truth you taught, (to you so clear, to me so dim,)
but when you came, you brought to me a sense of him.✞
And from your eyes, he beckons me, and from your heart, his love is shed,
till I lose sight of you and see Christ instead."✞
These teachers' discussion questions focus on teacher-child relationships. A child's unquestioning meek thinking is vitally important.1. Think of one particular child in your class. Show by example how she or he reacts to you. How is he or she unquestioning, meek, thinking tangibly, sensitively or developing steadily? 2. Consider your relationship with a difficult child in your group. How have you influenced him or her, for better by your words, actions, love, prayer, and attitudes? What alterations in your approach do you intend to make to improve these connections?✞
3. Concentrate upon one particular child in your Sunday School. Suggest the cause and the possible cure for his or her behavior. 4. How can teacher-child relationships be improved in your situation do you think?✞
This page describes the Children's lesson preparation and work materials required for the Sunday school teacher to use in the class. There is so much to learn about teacher-child relationships, motivation, characteristics of growth and basic principles, but even so one day the teacher is called upon to teach! So how do you begin your children's lesson preparation?✞
First and foremost in the children's lesson preparation comes personal prayer. Support yourself and your work with petition and praise. Don't be like John Buchan (1875-1940) a novelist and former Governor-General of Canada who published the thriller novel and movie "The Thirty Nine Steps" in which he described an atheist as "A man who has no invisible means of support!" The title of the book, by the way, was derived from the wooden staircase leading down to the beach which his six-year-old counted at a private nursing home in Broadstairs where Buchan was convalescing from a duodenal ulcer. The child was just learning to count and gleefully announced, "There are thirty-nine steps." His son later wrote, "Sometime later the house was demolished and a section of the stairs, complete with a brass plaque, was sent to Buchan." Like Buchan, you and I need the support of God and his invisible support in our work and should, therefore, examine carefully all the relevant printed materials. Research the Bible passages given, absorb the lesson and search through the workbook and any handout materials there may be. Ask God to lead you in this quest for the right approach and subject matter to bring the subject alive for the class. Every year, it is a good idea for the Sunday school teachers to sit down together, to set down the merits of the syllabus they are using and look at the alternatives available on the market. The analysis on the next page will assist you in deciding which is best for your situation.✞
The course analysis score for Sunday school lessons finds the teacher's best choice and the most important elements to improve their presentation.
1. Draw up a course analysis score form.
2. Write down a list of qualities in the left-hand column.
3. Choose the one that is most important to you and score it 10.
4. Rate the other qualities against it that are of the high importance of 8, low importance of 3.
5. List the different courses under consideration across the top.
6. Choose from the courses the one which is best in each category and give a score of 10.
7. Rate the other courses against it that are very good of 7, poor of 4.
8. Multiply the score for the course by the rating for the quality and enter these scores into each of the spaces.
9. Add up the scores under each course.
10. The highest score indicates your best choice. The lowest score points to your worst option. You need a good catchy opening, then a steady build-up to a real challenge about three-quarters of the way through the Sunday school lesson to let the kids and their excitement down gently to the end!✞
Lesson word analysis is an essential part of the Sunday school lesson preparation and can also be a lovely children's game. After reading through the various teaching materials and the Biblical passages associated with them, one needs to decide as to what to leave out and what to include in the lesson. This lesson analysis is often the most difficult task of all. Most workbooks contain over an hour's worth of activities, so the knife must be leveled at all but the most appropriate for that particular day and theme. It is better to complete a few things well than to cover everything poorly. On the other hand, it is a good exercise to try to condense what you have chosen. If it still retains its meaning and clarity with fewer words then perhaps you might want to introduce another item.✞
You need certain things. With children, always give them some visual aid to help them understand the truth visually. You may want to begin with something that grabs their interest, something they can relate to well. This might mean pupil participation - a game or craft or using their sense of smell are a few ideas. Finally, don't drag out a lesson for the sake of finishing it. Be prepared to adapt if necessary and to compress items or include others as the need arises. "Words are like the rays of the sun. If they are concentrated they burn so much hotter." This reminded me of the 37 story skyscraper in London, England the south-facing side of which reflects and magnifies the sun's rays enough to fry an egg on a 30 yard stretch of pavement at Eastcheap and scorch hair on your head! A Jaguar XJ had parts melted by the scorching heat! If striking visual aids will add this kind of extra intensity to your message then include them and cut down on the words.✞
A prepared visual brings to life a Sunday school lesson and conjures up exciting mental images.A picture may not always be worth a thousand words, but it will often give more clarity to a theme than any amount of explanation. Although pictures may take as long as the lesson to prepare, I find that the preparation of visuals seems to help you think through your subject and to get it clear in your mind. In this television age, people are slow to conjure up mental images from the spoken word, whereas a prepared picture visual can do it quickly. A picture also keeps the theme in front of the children even though their minds tend to wander.✞
Once your visual is complete it is time to practice the whole presentation. You can hold up cards in front of a mirror, or if you are using some piece of equipment like a projector, a chalkboard, or a CD recorder you should rehearse the whole thing as you intend to present it. Make notes as you go along and once you have finished go back and change the wording or improve the visual accordingly. Try to make the material flow naturally from one item to the next by using key linking words or the association of ideas. Work away at it until you feel you cannot improve it any more. Imagine you are a child listening to it and think of the reaction he or she might have.✞
Remember the story of the proud father who took his ten-year-old to see the Indianapolis 500 race. The cars roared around the curve and the boy tugged on his father's sleeve, "Look, Daddy, there's a monarch butterfly!" My advice is to enjoy your time with the children, be enthusiastic and your kids will probably enjoy it too!✞
This Sunday school teacher refresher course introduces a lesson on prayer and investigates the relationship between the teacher and the child.An opening prayer is followed by the motivations questionnaire and then a look at basic principles. A Bible study follows and a discussion of teaching methods that Jesus used. The church school teacher prayer includes the video "Number One." Discuss the videos the "Sunday School Teacher Influence" and "Teacher-Child Relationships."✞
Begin with an open prayer. Talk about the lesson preparation and the syllabus analysis and show the available materials and hand them around. Hand out sample lessons and view the video "Preparing a Lesson for the Junior Child" Talk about children's choruses and childhood development. Observation Test. Class Equipment and Technique. Ladder Lettering. Sunday School Teacher Prayer. Video "Understanding the Under Sevens"✞