Volunteer 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.)
One of my favorite education authors is Ron Clark. He promotes many of the same types of teaching skills we love at Teach One Reach One. If you want to improve your skills, one of my favorites is his book, The Excellent 11 . This book is ideal for inexperienced volunteers, as well as those who have been teaching children’s Bible classes for years.
Clark discusses eleven traits found in the very best teachers. He carefully breaks down what the classroom looks like when teachers have those traits and when they don’t. He gives lots of great tips for developing those same traits in your own teaching.
Curious what traits he found great teachers have in common? His list includes: enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation and resilience. Even though I only read this book for the first time a couple of weeks ago, it was amazing and yet understandable that our Teach One Reach One workshops and blog articles are also designed to help develop these same qualities (and a few more unique to our subject matter!).
So whether you head to your library, download the e-book version or buy the actual book, this is one you really must read. Your students will appreciate the time and effort you put into enhancing your classes.
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