Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sunday school teacher?

I'm a Sunday school teacher. It's been almost 2 years since I started to attempt to teach kids 6 and younger about various aspects of the Bible.

I confess that when I agreed to teach I had NO IDEA what I was signing up for. I am not very familiar with the Bible. I own a Bible and I actually attempted to read it in college, but I don't remember how far I got (although it was a fairly valiant attempt if I remember right) and honestly, I didn't retain much of what I read.

So there I was at that first "planning" meeting with 3 women I didn't know, planning to teach kids about stuff I didn't know much about.

Therein lies the beauty of teaching little kids. They generally don't realize that you are talking out of your ass.

Last year I faked it pretty well. We had a lead teacher who planned things out really well.

This year? Not so much. I've had to come up with my own lessons and activities. My lesson plan consists of "this week teach about the Red Sea."

I was actually fairly happy with my lesson about the Red Sea. We read 2 stories. Then we pretended different kids were Moses and my fellow teacher and I parted the paper Red Sea on the floor so "Moses" and his followers could cross and then put the sea back to normal so it could sweep away those evil army men. Um, yeah. Seriously drawing a blank on who was following them. Bad. After each kid had the opportunity to be Moses we had them color in some mini-books about that part of the story (we have a workbook that has mini-books). For a change, the whole hour passed without the urge to put VeggieTales in the VCR and make the kids "Veg" out.

These days are few this year.

I feel like we aren't teaching the kids much, at least on the days that I am there. I hope the other ladies are having more success.

I am trying to decide if I want to continue "teaching" next year. On the one hand, it forces us to go to church on Sunday, but on the other hand, we don't attend the service unless M is singing because I feel like I've "done" my church for the day when I "teach."

Okay, so here's the real issue. There is one kid in the class that disrupts everything. From the moment he enters the room he whips Miss M into a frenzy of activity. They are running circles around the room, hiding behind the piano, climbing the piano, throwing things. You get the general idea. He refuses to participate most of the time but if you ask him a direct question about the story, he will answer correctly. I think he has ADHD or something like that.

If he does have ADHD, then he needs medication. His mom has said that she thinks he has it, but I don't know about then diagnosis process. I think they don't diagnose until they are in school (he's only 4).

Anyway. He is a handful. I don't like how Miss M reacts when he is around. His little sister will likely be in the classroom in the fall as well.

So will K. And his cousin.

It sounds like a whole lotta work for next year.

I secretly love the appreciation (what little there is) and recognition of the church "officials." And I kind of like that several people in the church know who I am simply because I am "involved."

I wonder if I can handle the chaos next year though. I need a concrete lesson plan to follow and I'm not versed enough about the Bible to create lesson plans so I can't be the lead teacher.

I'm thinking that ADHD boy will have a major shock at kindergarten in the fall so that may change things as well.

Oh crap. I'll probably do it again. Like a dummy.

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Tater and Tot said...

There are some great Sunday School Lesson resources on-line where you can get craft ideas, snack recipes, games, and coloring pages all for the lesson you are looking for. If you want, I can look up some of the ones that I have used - just throw me an e-mail if you want more info!

Good luck in making your decision!

Harmonica Man said...

I'm all for "mainstreaming" the difficult kids so they can learn social skills, but there always needs to be a couple of rules when parents do this.

1 - they shouldn't just "dump" the kid on somebody else so they (the parents) can simply have quiet time alone. That's not fair to the teacher and the rest of the students. At a minimum one of the parents or an older sibling should be in the room with them.

2 - The teacher should have to right to request that the kid have additional supervision - and if not, to not allow him to be in the class.

Tell the Sunday school director you will help on these terms only. As well, make sure you communicate with the parents of these problem kids and tell them honestly how their kids are behaving. Otherwise they might not even be aware of how much a disruption the kids are being.

Sorry, didn't mean to come off as Mr. Knowitall - I've just had too many years of experience in this area.

Heather said...

MaTater- I'll probably take you up on that offer of the links. I need to find your email address, or I'll just send you a comment since I don't know if you'll see this!

Jeff-The thing is, the parents DO know how difficult he is and I'm always torn about how honest to be about how he was. I don't want to tell them he was horrible, because sometimes he's not as bad as other times, but I also don't want to lie and say he's an angel, because he never is one. Oh yeah, and his Mom is also one of the Sunday School teachers...he acts the same if she's there.

Although she did kick him out of class a couple of weeks ago.

Kate said...

Coming from a total heathen who survived 12 years of Catholic school, I probably have no real advice. But kudos to you for putting in the good work. You should definitely continue to do it.

Damselfly said...

That's a handful! Maybe you'd like to teach an older grade?

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