Archive | Book Reviews

Great Resource for Teachers in Children’s Bible Classes

Great Resource for Teachers in Children's Bible Classes - Teach One Reach OneVolunteer teachers in Bible classes for children often have little training in education. They love God and their students dearly, but probably aren’t as effective as they could be with just a little more coaching. Unfortunately, very few churches and ministries provide this crucial regular training for their volunteers.

Of course, we would love for you to contact us and schedule our founder to come to your location and conduct intensive training workshops. If that’s not possible, and your church doesn’t provide training resources, you can self-educate. Reading books, educational journals or following blogs like this one can improve your skills and the effectiveness of your lessons and activities.

At the moment, the best books for teachers are all written for teachers in secular schools. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot you can learn from these master teachers. Often what they share will work in your Bible class for children just as well as it does in the elementary school down the street. At other times, you can make a few small changes in what they suggest and make it work for your Bible class. (For example, social studies ideas often work well when trying to help your students understand the history and cultures of the Bible.)

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Introducing Bible Foods in Classes for Kids and Even Teens

Introducing Bible Foods in Classes for Kids and Even Teens - Teach One Reach OneIn our teacher training workshops, we strongly encourage participants to include as many of a child’s senses in a lesson as possible. Doing so can help make the lesson more memorable. Often though, volunteers struggle with adding smell and taste to the mix. Introducing students to foods eaten during Bible times is a great way to add both of those senses to your lesson.

People sometimes hesitate to add foods because of the time most Bible classes meet. Often children are in class just minutes before their family eats lunch or immediately after dinner. The important thing to remember is that a student doesn’t need to eat a full serving of something to add taste and smell to the learning mix. A taste or two will have the same results.

Before giving food to your students there are two crucial things to remember:

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How Teach One Reach One Can Help Your Ministry to Kids and Teens (Inc. Lots of Free Resources!)

How Teach One Reach One Can Help Your Ministry to Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneYou may have just stumbled upon Teach One Reach One or perhaps you attended one of our workshops, seminars or classes and are wondering what other resources we have to help you.

God has blessed this ministry and we are constantly adding to the resources designed to help Christian parents and the volunteers working with kids and teens in churches, faith-based tutoring programs and on the mission fields of the world.

Currently, these are just some of the resources you can find on our website or can attain by contacting us directly through the contact us feature on our websites.

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Must Read for Christians Working With Urban Youth

Must Read for Christians Working With Urban Youth - Teach One Reach OneMany Christians have great hearts. They love people, especially young people. They want to point them to Christ and make a positive difference in their lives. They want to make a positive impact on urban environments that are killing our young people or emotionally breaking those who manage to survive.

Often these well meaning Christians head into urban environments with absolutely no real information about what life can be like. Or their perceptions are based on what they have seen on the evening news or some television drama. In reality, life can be just as different from one urban child to the next as it is from one suburban child to the next. Unfortunately though, not knowing some of the basic issues in urban life can mean volunteers waste a lot of unnecessary time and money through trial and error. They can spend way too much time reinventing the wheel. They can even make things much worse for the children they are trying to help by making “rookie” mistakes.

Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun by Geoffrey Canada should be a must read for anyone wanting to volunteer or work with kids and teens in an urban environment. Canada runs a program in Harlem (NYC), that from everything I can read is as much of a success story as one can hope for in one of the toughest areas in America. In fact, many credit his program with creating a rejuvenation of about a 100 block area in that part of Manhattan.

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What Are Your Sunday School Students Thinking?

What Are Your Sunday School Students Thinking - Teach One Reach OneHave you ever wondered what the students in your Bible or faith based tutoring classes are thinking? Do you have any idea what they like or don’t like about your class? Do you know what they think would help them learn more (whether they are right or not)? Do you know how they feel about you as a person and your relationship with them? If you don’t, you are missing an important tool to reaching your students and pointing them towards God in the most effective ways possible.

Much of what we promote at Teach One Reach One is based on our interactions with students. We try out many of our materials with real students and ask for their feedback. We talk with them and find out what they feel they need from classes and teachers trying to help them learn about God. Why? Because even if what they think they want isn’t what they actually want or need to best learn, knowing how they think helps a teacher adjust lessons and activities so students will be the most receptive to them.

There is a great secular book on the market I would love for you to read. It is written by and about students in high school. Many of the co-authors are (or were by now) students in inner city schools, known for students acting out in ways like setting fires in bathrooms when they are bored or frustrated. Fires In The Bathroom by Kathleen Cushman and a number of teens is a great insight into the minds of students.

Even though it was written about secular high schools, I think you will find much of what these students share would be shared in similar ways by students of any age and in any type of school – including church Bible classes and faith based tutoring programs. The author is careful to present student thoughts exactly as they were given. At times, this means non-standard grammar or immature ideas and hopes, but the bulk of what these kids share is valid and important.

If you are not an educator, you may be a little distracted in the chapters that tend to focus on a specific subject or appear on the surface to be unrelated to what happens in Bible classes at church. I encourage you though to take a step back and substitute church for school, Bible class and Bible class teacher for their classes and teachers and the Bible as the subject being discussed. If you can do that, I believe you will start learning a lot of truths about how your students think and feel about you and your class.

Then take your research a step further and ask your students if they think the information the students share in the book applies to how they feel and think. As we have mentioned many times before, you will need to reassure them you want the truth and not what they think you want to hear from them. If they believe you, you may learn some important things you can do to really make a difference in the spiritual lives of your students. Just remember, as with the book, these are still young people who are growing and maturing. Not everything they want may be what is best for them, but even those things give you important clues to the best ways to get their attention and touch their hearts and minds – you may just have to adapt it a bit to make it helpful!




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