27 February 2013

Top Teaching Tips - WHAT IF?

Here, here and here is a long list of things to help spruce up teaching technique.  And here is the health warning...that should have been stated right up front.  Don't try all of this at once.  It will lead to a nervous breakdown.  But what if?  What if you are doing it all and still things aren't going right?

If part of a lesson is going disastrously, even if you thought it would be a huge hit, abandon it in good humour and move on to salvage the rest of your time together.  Maybe break the tension with a quick game.  If a whole lesson goes badly (and they do), plan a very happy, interactive follow-up session to rebuild the relationships.  If you have a run of bad lessons think about setting up a system where two consecutive good lessons earns a games or craft day.  Next time extend it to three good lessons for a games or craft day.  Better to throw a lesson here and there to games or craft (and you can still sneak in plenty of content) in order to win back quality time with the kids.

Does a full moon make children go crazy?
And remember, not every lesson goes perfectly.  Spend some time analysing the situation – could you have done better in your preparation (they say the average children's talk or session is prepared in six minutes) or delivery?  But always remember that there are lots of external reasons why lessons go awry – rainy days with no chance to play outside and run off energy, windy days, tired children, the class is having a bad day, it is sports carnival week...and in the Sunday School setting is it the first Sunday of the school holidays (always aim low that day) or did half your kids have sleepovers at friends' houses at some stage over the weekend?  There is a fair chance that an unsuccessful lesson may not be because of you.  So have good courage, keep praying and press on.


That's where my notes for the conference finished.  But there remains one more WHAT IF.  What if these notes were actually of some use to you?  The notes that formed the last four posts - my slightly embellished conference notes - are free for use, as is anything on this blog.  If they can help you or someone you know to tighten up their pedagogy - that is, to maximise their teaching time by minimising their need to discipline - then cut, paste, print, reuse, modify, take extracts from, run your own workshop, share.  No need to seek my permission.  These notes are free for use so go for it.  My hope, prayer and joy is to see people who love to teach kids about God feeling confident to do that precious work.


Anonymous said...

Meredith! These posts are wonderful! You forgot to mention translating them! These will be of much use to me and to others here in Chile. Thanks so much for sharing them, and for your generosity. Love, Jo xx

Meredith said...

Oooh! And translating. Doesn't that sound grand! Thanks Jo.

If you do get around to translating (and then sharing) let me know if you think of any gaps that need to be plugged. I stared and stared at this document for such a long time that in the end I couldn't see the wood for the trees and it all just seemed to be stating the obvious. But I want to make this as useful as possible so if you think of things that should be added, please let me know.

And on a different manner, please be assured of our on-going prayers as you hold the fort in your neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...

It may be that a hard look whilst translating will reveal some gaping hole... but I don't think so! :-) There are always calls for teaching little one capacitation classes here, and I have a short one I do, but yours is a veritable treasure trove.

And thanks for your prayers. I do have some days when it really just feels like it has been too hard for too long. But I was very much encouraged (well, and convicted) by chapter 4 of Jonah yesterday. Maybe I have been saying to God, 'Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die!' Not so crassly of course, but the sentiment is there... that I know better than the sovereign Lord of the universe... do pray for my heart! Jo x

Meredith said...

Shall pray for you as soon as I have written this comment. And continue to do so.

And I will try to catch a moment and find your email address in the prayer diary. I think it's time we became email buddies.

The Lord bless you and keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace.

Anonymous said...

That would be lovely! Jo x