32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher

Overview

A self-directed teacher training resource offering four courses of study for both experienced teachers and beginners.

For many churches teacher training is a once-a year event, or even a budget casualty. 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher uses self-study sessions to help teachers design individualized programs that assist them in learning how to teach. New teachers will learn the basics of teaching (how faith develops; the ages and stages of learning); veterans will...

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32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher

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Overview

A self-directed teacher training resource offering four courses of study for both experienced teachers and beginners.

For many churches teacher training is a once-a year event, or even a budget casualty. 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher uses self-study sessions to help teachers design individualized programs that assist them in learning how to teach. New teachers will learn the basics of teaching (how faith develops; the ages and stages of learning); veterans will find ways to enrich their prayer lives and incorporate different teaching styles in a lesson.

A sampler of topics: How to Study a Bible Passage; Multiple Intelligence Learning; Death, Illness, Other Crises; Using Questions in Teaching; The Gospels; Prayer in the Classroom; The Sacraments; Symbols of Christianity

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687017874
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 815,517
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Delia Halverson, a Christian education specialist, is a veteran classroom and workshop leader with more than 20 years' experience. She has written extensively in the area of religious education and is the author of 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher, How to Train Volunteer Teachers, Leading Adult Learners and My Cup Runneth Over... Devotions for Teachers. She is the author of over fifteen books and is well known for her articles and curriculum writing. She lives in Woodstock, Georgia.
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Read an Excerpt

32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher

Self-Directed Studies for Church Teachers


By Delia Halverson

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 1997 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-687-01787-4



CHAPTER 1

Ages and Stages

Purpose: To grasp a better understanding of the students in order to plan for reaching them with the message of Christ.

Jesus taught us that we must listen to and get to know our students. He exhibited this when he adapted his teachings to the Pharisees and scribes, using references to the scriptures and to other people, through common, everyday objects and events.

[] Read Mark 7:1-13 and Mark 12:13-17.

[] When did Jesus use other common-life objects or events?

___________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________


[] Jesus also listened to his students and adapted his teachings to their needs. Read Matthew 15:21-28.

Whether we teach children, youth, or adults, we cannot do an effective job if we do not learn to understand our students. This section covers all ages, giving not only characteristics but also faith concepts (pages 26-27) appropriate for the younger ages. When considering faith concepts for youth and adults, see "How Our Faith Develops" (Study #2, page 29).

Read through all age levels on the chart that follows. This will not only help you know your students, but also give you an idea of where they have been in their faith development and where they are headed. It will also help you to understand their parents, or their children or grandchildren.

After reading through the information, think about these questions:

[] Which characteristics best fit the majority of your students?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


[] What students in your class have special needs that differ from those of most of the others in your class (such as individual attention, help with a specific skill, encouragement to speak out, etc.)? List the names of these students and their needs.

Name
Needs

_________ _________________________

_________ _________________________

_________ _________________________


[] What are some ways that you can let your students know that you think each of them is special (such as complimenting someone on an article of clothing, asking about the health of a family member, etc.)?

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


Additional Resources

[] Review or read some of these additional resources.

Barna, George. Generation NeXt. Barna Res. Group.

Halverson, Delia. Leading Adult Learners. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

Hartman, Warren J. Five Audiences. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1987.

Miller, Craig. Baby Boomer Spirituality. Nashville: Disciple-ship Resources.

———. Postmoderns. Nashville: Discipleship Resources.

Miller, Karen. Ages and Stages. West Palm Beach, Fla.: Telshare, 1985.


Children Differ

The infant may be like this:

• wiggles, squirms, squeals, and kicks—grasps for items.

• smiles for strangers as well as family.

• crawls or rolls from one place to another.

• responds in individual ways.


The infant needs:

• to be loved and cared for and kept dry and changed.

• an environment that is safe and clean (and nontoxic).

• adults who recognize the child's behavior and offer encouragement.

• room for crawling and objects to hold and grasp.

• items to watch and follow with eyes.


Parents of infants need:

• to know the environment is clean and safe and the child is cared for and loved.

• to be called by name and recognized.

• to know that you have concern when the child is ill.

• to be assured that the child's interest is yours.


The toddler and two-year-old may be like this:

• are beginning to know the power of saying "no."

• are fearless in trying new things.

• climb or step on to get where they want to be.

• begin to match words with objects.

• toddler has special language of own; two-year-old begins to drop the special language.

• are unable to comprehend pronouns (Jimmy kick the ball instead of "I").

• may hit or attack peers when cannot communicate with words.

• play well beside, instead of with, others; everything is "me" centered.

• have very short attention span.


Two-year-old particularly:

• has beginning capabilities of some creative activities.

• often prefers adult relationships to peer.

• can recall events of yesterday, missing toys, etc.

• uses color names but unable to identify yet.

• uses numbers and words to accompany serial pointing, serving as foundation for later discriminative counting.

• talks while acts and acts while talks.

• can't fold paper well yet, but enjoys using paper.

• begins process thinking (pushes chair to climb up to get something).

• growing sense of possession displayed by hiding toys to have later.

• shows off to adults and peers to make them laugh.

• shows affection spontaneously.

• mimics adult expressions of emotion.

• dawdles often.

• considers self "older" than younger child.


The toddler and two-year-old need:

• adults who keep constant check on actions and offer comfort.

• routine to give them stability.

• adults who do first, and then explain as they do it again.

• room to move about and have individual play.

• motion activities to satisfy muscular development.

• to hear others tell stories about them and familiar belongings.

• listeners and encouragement in developing communication skills.

• help with words to show emotions. "You are angry because ..."

• opportunity to express possessiveness.

• pictures at eye level, two or three feet above floor, and low shelves within reach.

• songs and games with repetition and imitation.

• multiple toys (where possible) for parallel play; nontoxic materials.

• nearby bathroom facilities for two-year-olds.

• opportunity to see creative accomplishment for two-year-olds.


Parents of toddlers and two-year-olds need:

• to know that the environment is clean and safe, and that child is cared for and loved.

• to be called by name and recognized.

• to know that you have concern when the child is ill.

• to become involved with child's class.

• to be assured child's interest is yours and you love the child even when there are problems.


The three-year-old may be like this:

• enjoys motor activity, but less than twos.

• enjoys finger manipulations with play materials.

• likes to use crayons but unable to stay in lines well.

• drawing is more directed with some controlled marks (not controlled well enough to draw a person).

• delights in scissors; begins cutting "fringes" around edges of paper and then cutting across paper; cutting out pictures comes with more practice.

• has longer attention span.

• builds tower of nine to ten blocks.

• folds paper lengthwise and crosswise, but not diagonally.

• can pedal, jump upward, balance on one foot for short time.

• starts and stops easily and makes sharp turns.

• begins to recognize forms.

• is sometimes rather tidy and orderly.

• sentences become longer and has many questions.

• words are now instruments for relating ideas, concepts, relationships, etc.

• enjoys creating chants.

• tries to use muscles to solve problem instead of thinking ability (will try to force puzzle piece instead of turning it around).

• has sense of incompleteness, fragments (turns page of a book for more of a story, etc.).

• begins to classify, compare things.

• is learning to listen but still enjoys being listened to.

• is beginning bargaining ability—sacrificing something now for later.

• has strong desire to please.

• talks to self and imaginary persons.

• enjoys other children, but still needs solitary and parallel play.

• begins to understand waiting turns and sharing.

• may ask questions to which already knows answer.


The three-year-old needs:

• beginning finger plays.

• simple rhythm instrument opportunities (may be homemade).

• to watch forms being drawn to imitate.

• opportunities to "do it myself."

• materials for development of smaller muscles, along with some big muscles.

• adults who are sensitive to inner feelings, who may cover embarrassment.

• appreciation for contributions to community living.

• understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of different development levels.

• to be told about the unknown and what causes things.

• modeling of Christian values.


Parents of three-year-olds need:

• to be called by name and recognized.

• to know that you have concern when the child is ill.

• to know that the environment is clean and safe.

• to know that the child is cared for and loved.

• to become involved with their child's class.

• to be assured the child's interest is yours and that you love the child even when there are problems.

• encouragement when their child develops differently from others.


The four-year-old may be like this:

• runs, stops, turns with ease.

• may be able to skip and stand on one leg for a period of time.

• throws and catches ball or bean bag; swings without help.

• can recognize and reproduce body movements.

• strings large and small beads (not very small) and follows simple patterns.

• copies circle, triangle, square; matches colors and shapes.

• claps hands in imitation of simple rhythm.

• can use brushes at easel properly.

• cuts on straight line and some simple outlines; simple paper folding.

• recognizes simple alike and different objects.

• identifies missing parts if not too complex.

• memory is developing for two- to four-color or object sequence.

• recognizes own name; knows first and last name.

• recognizes and matches various environmental sounds.

• retells very short stories accurately; recalls jingles, rhymes, etc.

• using language, communicates needs and begins to solve problems.

• has little comprehension of past and future.

• thinks literally; is baffled by storyteller analogies.

• worships God, although cannot verbally explain (in awe of creation).

• likes to go from one thing to another rather than repeat.

• constantly questions; much chattering (sometimes for attention).

• is more bossy and mature than threes, but enjoys groups of two to three children.

• shares possessions and suggests turns, but does not play orderly.


The four-year-old needs:

• simple rhythm instrument opportunities (may be homemade).

• opportunities to "do it myself."

• adults sensitive to inner feelings, who may cover embarrassment.

• appreciation for contributions to community living.

• understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of different development levels.

• to be told about the unknown and what causes things.

• modeling of Christian values.

• opportunities to extend social development.

• persons who talk literally.

• frequent opportunities to move about without undue pressure.

• opportunities for quiet reflection.


Parents of four-year-olds need:

• to be called by name and recognized.

• to know that you have concern when the child is ill.

• to know that the environment is clean and safe.

• to know that the child is cared for and loved.

• to become involved with child's class.

• to be assured child's interest is yours and you love the child even when there are problems.

• encouragement to follow up on class activities at home.


The five-year-old may be like this:

• is active most of time, but fatigues quickly.

• has better-developed large muscles; is developing better small muscles.

• exhibits slower physical growth than in previous years.

• responds to routine and organization with some interest in organized games.

• plans and plays together in small groups.

• has incomplete eye development (is often farsighted).

• left- or right-handedness is usually established.

• handles personal needs (eating, toilet, some dressing, etc.).

• is jealous of other children; competes for adult attention.

• has strong link to parents, particularly mother; may return to younger behavior.

• begins to look for reason for authority.

• exhibits developing sense of humor.

• is becoming cooperative and helpful, but will argue and become angry.

• enjoys small responsibilities and thrives on praise and affection.

• copies authority figures in play (parents, teacher, etc.)

• expects rules and limits to be literal; sometimes confuses fact and fantasy.

• has better understanding of sequence of events but little concept of time.

• is developing respect for rights of others.

• has little understanding of cause and effect.

• has "special" friend, or feels left out because has no "special" friend.


The five-year-old needs:

• simple answers to the many questions asked.

• firsthand experiences to gain new information.

• simple opportunities to make generalizations and see relationships.

• guidance in new skill of making thoughtful decisions.

• adults sensitive to inner feelings, and who may cover embarrassment.

• praise for accomplishments and contributions to group living.

• modeling of Christian values.

• persons who talk literally instead of abstractly.

• opportunities for quiet reflection.

• to be recognized by teacher in community (at grocery store, etc.).

• to feel needed, with assigned "helper/steward" or leader positions.

• activities that involve the senses.

• people who will listen with ears and eyes.

• changes in pace—active followed by quiet.


Parents of five-year-olds need:

• to be called by name and recognized.

• to know that you have concern when the child is ill.

• to know that the child is cared for and loved.

• encouragement when their child develops differently from others.

• to become involved with child's class.

• to be assured child's interest is yours and you love the child even when there are problems.

• encouragement to follow up on class activities at home.


The younger elementary boy or girl may be like this:

• is restless, active, and energetic but still tires easily.

• experiences slow physical development as body growth stabilizes.

• takes less interest in own body as physical being; not yet conscious of sexual being.

• likes to learn by doing.

• discouraged if unable to complete a project because of lack of time or skill.

• math skills improving, but still needs concrete terms.

• by grade three is beginning map reading skills and understands some history.

• by second grade is beginning cursive writing.

• has attention span of ten to fifteen minutes.

• is beginning to manipulate symbols mentally, without use of hands or objects.

• is beginning to read, but reading at different levels.

• is beginning to reason from own experience.

• is rule-bound (everything is right or wrong; "fair" means "equal").

• reasoning skill is increasing.

• reflects parental attitudes.

• has vivid imagination and enjoys dramatization.

• likes stories, read to or to read.

• "me-ism" develops toward others (God loves me—I love others).

• interests of boys and girls often differ.

• enjoys "best friend" but may shift friends; peer cliques and clubs shift easily.


The younger elementary boy or girl needs:

• "real" tools and equipment rather than toys.

• opportunities to be with people of all ages and playmates of both sexes.

• opportunities to explore meaning of Bible stories to own life.

• opportunities to use art forms and words to convey ideas and feelings.

• simple interpretation of symbols although the younger elementary child may not grasp them.

• pride of owning "own" Bible and help in learning to use it.

• opportunity to do own planning and solve own problems.

• conversation, songs, and stories to help learn some Bible verses.

• free dramatic play and spontaneous dramatization.

• adults who point out child's positive physical and personality characteristics.

• sympathy when emotionally hurt but encouragement to forget quickly.

• projects broken down into small tasks, and understanding when the child fails at things beyond ability.

• experiences with life cycles and relating these to God as Creator.

• encouragement to ask "how" and "why," although the child generally accepts almost everything told about God.

• opportunities for quiet reflection.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from 32 Ways to Become a Great Sunday School Teacher by Delia Halverson. Copyright © 1997 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction,
The Loom: The Foundation,
1. Ages and Stages,
2. How Our Faith Develops,
3. How to Read and Study a Bible Passage,
4. Multiple Intelligence Learning,
5. Why Christian Education?,
The Warp: Personal Enrichment,
6. Enriching My Prayer Life,
7. Our Faith Story in the Bible,
8. Simplify, Simplify!,
9. The Bible and Teaching Faith,
10. The Gospels,
11. The Psalms,
12. The Sacraments,
13. Symbols of Christianity,
14. Worship,
The Weft: Practical Application,
15. Death, Illness, and Other Crises,
16. Incorporating Stewardship and Mission,
17. Learning Centers,
18. Lesson Planning,
19. Positive Classroom Atmosphere,
20. Prayer in the Classroom,
21. Selecting Curriculum for Adults,
22. Taking the Maze Out of Your Room,
23. Using Questions in Teaching,
24. Teachable Moments,
25. Teaching the Bible Creatively,
Finishing the Fabric: Projects for Each Stage of Study,
26. Observe in the Classroom,
27. Evaluate Your Class Session,
28. Act as Lead Teacher,
29. Plan and Carry Out a Class Project,
30. Compile Personal Teaching Files,
31. Make a Permanent Teaching Aid,
32. Prepare and Teach Observation Sessions,
Appendixes,
Progress Chart,
Certificate of Accomplishment,
Notes,

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