Whenever you ask someone about the Bible classes for kids and teens in their church, you usually hear how wonderful they are. But are they really? What is the standard for wonderful? Are the kids and teens getting what they need to build strong spiritual foundations and reach their godly potential? Are volunteer teachers doing things that enhance learning or are they creating an atmosphere that makes students want to avoid class?
Even within the same congregation or ministry, you may have one class where kids are learning all sorts of important things from God’s Words in meaningful, hands-on, memorable ways, while others are learning literally nothing. In order to help parents raise their kids to become strong, productive Christians as adults, our ministries must be of a consistently high quality.
So how do you know what’s a positive learning environment and what isn’t? How can you send people into a room to evaluate who don’t have degrees in education, but still get an accurate assessment? How can you self-evaluate as objectively as possible?
Teach One Reach One Ministries has developed a free classroom evaluation tool. It addresses everything that can happen in a Bible classroom with simple yes/no questions. This keeps evaluators from having to scale items when they don’t have the training to do so. The evaluation tool will make it clear very quickly where your ministry may need additional training or resources. Although it doesn’t address curricula directly, it does point out what may also be some weaknesses in what you are currently using.
Make sure you evaluate every class in your ministry. (If you can only evaluate your own class, the evaluation tool can help you become a stronger teacher.) If it appears someone is having an “off” day for some reason, go back and evaluate on a better day. The tool is not designed to be used to criticize or bully volunteers. It can though, point out areas where one or more of your volunteers may need additional help through training or mentoring.
Do your students and their parents a huge favor. Honestly evaluate your classes. Make sure they really are wonderful. If they aren’t, do what you need to do to make them classes where students are getting what they need to become who God wants them to be. It is one of the most important things you can do for your students.