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Four Tips to Being an Effective Preschool Sunday School Teacher

written by: Donna Cosmato • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 8/2/2012

Try these Sunday teacher training tips in your facility. Here are ideas for fun learning activities, improving parent-teacher communications, and handling staff interactions.

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    Teaching Tips for Preschool

    Sunday preschool teacher training ensures consistency with program scopes and goals. Teacher coaching provides better parent-teacher communication, improved staff interaction, and enhanced learning opportunities for students.

    Teachers need training too Most Sunday school teachers are volunteers rather than professional educators. Training them how to plan lessons and creative activities makes the Bible come alive for preschool children. Here are the steps for planning interactive Sunday school lessons preschool children love and learn.

    Read the story before class, and gather background information. For instance, a map showing Abram’s route from Ur to Canaan helps both teacher and students better understand the huge task God gave Abram (he did not move next door).

    Look at the lesson from the preschool children’s point of view. Will they understand the point of the lesson? Is the material presented in an interesting way? Preschoolers have short attentions spans and need multi-sensory learning opportunities.

    Tell the story rather than read the story. Great storytelling skills are not necessary, just enthusiasm and a desire to teach Bible stories. For instance, use props like a basket, some fish sticks, and wheat rolls to demonstrate stories like Jesus feeding the 5,000. Rehearse stories before class – out loud and before a mirror.

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    Interactive Sunday School Teaching Ideas

    Look for ways to incorporate fun Sunday School lesson learning activities like:

    • Acting out stories
    • Creative props – a red blanket to represent the Red Sea, or a walking stick for Moses’ staff
    • Related crafts – crosses made from craft sticks or modeling clay, for example
    • Singing, dancing, or rhyming games
    • Simple object lessons
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    Effective Communication Skills for Ministry

    Since Sunday school programs tend to be less structured than traditional school programs, effective parent-teacher communication is vital. If there are disciplinary or other concerns, they must be handled tactfully.

    1. Conduct parent-teacher conversations in private settings, rather than hallways. While finding a quiet place to talk may be more challenging in cramped church environments, it is necessary to protect parents and children’s rights to confidentiality and dignity.
    2. Organize thoughts prior to meeting with parents. If another staff member is involved, all parties should attend the meeting. Prepare an outline to keep the parent teacher conference on track. Open communication is the key to resolving issues, so be prepared to listen more than talk.
    3. Keep the meeting simple, but do not patronize or talk to parents as if they were children.
    4. Follow up with parents via a written note or telephone call. Thank them for their time and interest and reinforce any key points of the conference. Reassure them of a sincere interest in their child’s Christian education.
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    Sunday School Staff Interactions

    Working with volunteers requires high-quality staff interactions and attention to relationships. The best guide for ensuring good staff interactions is the Bible (scriptures are from the New International Version of the Bible):

    • James 1:19 – “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
    • Ephesians 4:2 – “Be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love.”
    • Proverbs 29:11 – “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”

    Respecting other’s feelings and skills, listening more than talking, and being open to instruction and guidance are the best ways to achieve unity in staff interactions. Sunday preschool teacher training is a vital part of any early childhood programs for children’s ministry.

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    Image Credit

    Wikimedia Commons/:Public Domain

References

  • University of Illinois Extension, "Parent-Teacher Communication", accessed 03/02/2010, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/succeed/communication.cfm
  • Bible Gateway, Passage Lookup, accessed 03/02/2010, James 1:19, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+1%3A19&version=NIV
  • Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/987821 under royalty free license

  • Bible Gateway, Passage Lookup, accessed 03/02/2010, Proverbs 29:11, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs%2029:11&version=NIV
  • Bible Gateway, Passage Lookup, accessed 03/02/2010, Ephesians 4:2, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=ephesians%204:2&version=NIV