Monday, May 4, 2009

Try Something New

In teaching my Sunday School class, I fall back on the traditional, familiar ways of teaching. We teach with hands-on activities and use a variety of centers. I tend to use activities that I have used in the past - because those activities have worked in the past and I know how to teach using them.

But I cannot just depend on the familiar. When I do that, my teaching becomes rote and stale. I 
need to seek challenges and different ways to communicate Bible truths. And choose new ways to involve and engage boys and girls in learning. 

Recently we talked about telling others about Jesus. To help boys and girls think about and practice different ways to tell about Jesus, we provided a variety of activities - mostly ones that were familiar to me and the children. The kids used phones to pretend to talk to others. They wrote letters and notes to a missionary in our state. They built different places where they could tell about Jesus. Some fun ways to explore the Bible truth and the story.

I also decided to try something new. I took an old laptop and opened the word processing program. I thought that kids could pretend to send e-mail or type messages about Jesus. And the kindergartners were fascinated. We had to make a list so they could keep track of who was next. And I told them that I would bring the computer back the next week so everyone could have a turn.

So for the month of May, my writing center has been converted to a computer center. The laptop is available with a sign-up list. We added a timer so each child will have 5 minutes to type and will know when his turn is over. The children have enjoyed typing - sometimes just letters and nonsense, sometimes words or names, sometimes numbers. 

By trying something new, I have seen excitement in my kids. They have used new skills and new ways to learn about the Bible. And I'm discovering new ways to reinforce and apply truths to their lives. 

Look at your class or teaching ministry. What new technique could you try? What new tool could you use? What new idea could you implement? Keep in mind that not everything will work. Sometimes when I try something new, it fails. But trying new things keeps teaching fresh. And trying new things keeps me growing and learning as a teacher.

Photos by R Scott Wiley

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