This past year in my kindergarten class, I took lots of pictures. (The peril of the digital camera!) As a result, we gave each set of parents a CD with pictures of their child. As I reviewed the photos from this past year, I noticed something I hadn't before. One boy was drawing, writing, or using letters in almost every photo in which he appeared. As I looked over the photos, I saw him drawing with dry erase markers at the easel, printing words and drawing pictures in the writing center, creating a poster by printing words and taping the words together, and using the letter blocks to spell his name.
Did I just seem to take photos of him when he was writing or using letters? Or did he really do that a lot? I thought back over the year. While he did other things, I remember several specific instances of his printing, drawing, or painting with various implements as well as spelling his name and other words with letter blocks and letter stamps. How could I have not noticed that he was so interested in words and writing?
This started me off on another train of thought. What else had I missed this past year? Did I miss another child's interest? Did I not offer something that could have helped a child learn more about the Bible? Did I miss an opportunity that would have proved valuable learning for a child?
I cannot worry about the past and missed opportunities. But I can focus on now. I will pay attention to each child in my class - make a conscious effort to see what each child likes to do. Opportunities to teach come in many different forms; I won't be able to use every single one. But I will work to pay attention - to look for opportunities to increase a child's learning. I will watch for common patterns and plan activities that allow a child to do what he enjoys - so I can use that interest to teach about God.
What do you do to capture children's attention and focus their interests on Bible learning opportunities?