Big Picture

Tips and Tricks

What’s Happening in the Classroom

-Barth and Sally Middleton

Suppose you could read the thoughts of the workers you supervise. Consider how you would react to the following scenarios as you put your name in each blank.

It’s a good thing __________ doesn’t know what’s happening in my class today. It’s been a hectic week! There’s no way I could take time to prepare the lesson.

Where are all these visitors coming from? It seems like we always have new kids. I know __________ told us to present the Gospel every week but sometimes it doesn’t fit my plan and I don’t even know where these kids are spiritually.

I just realized that over half of the children in my class have asked the Lord to save them right in this room. I’m sure __________ would be encouraged to hear this but our paths seldom cross.

The type of reports you receive from those you lead may not reveal what’s really happening. You may be missing blessings or be unaware of disappointing developments. Even though you require your workers to take training classes, provide them with an excellent curriculum and praise them for volunteering, do you have a clue as to what’s happening in their classes? Should you know? Yes! As the leader you are responsible.

How Can You Know?

How can you get a clearer view of what’s happening in every class? Concealed cameras, recording devices and eavesdropping outside the doors are obviously not good solutions! It’s also unwise to ask one worker to evaluate another. But you can interact more frequently with those you oversee, asking key questions and carefully listening to responses.

  • To find out if a teacher is using the materials you prayerfully selected ask, “How would you evaluate the response of your students to this current lesson series on Joshua?”
  • To avert a problem of omitting Gospel presentations, give each teacher a copy of The Gospel at Your Fingertips* with excellent ideas compiled from this magazine. Then say, “Would you be willing to choose one of these to present next week, then let me know how you liked it and if any children indicated a desire to receive Christ?”
  • To uncover blessings ask, “What encouraging things have happened in your class recently?”

Instruct and Inspire

Although you have instructed your teachers on careful lesson preparation and evangelism, you also need to remind and inspire your workers to do what’s right. Lead with heart, helping others know and feel the urgency of why their ministry is vital.

In various training sessions we have used a piece of red yarn 168in long. Stretching it out in front of a group, we tell workers the yarn represents one week—a span of 168 hours. We point out that a one-inch section represents one hour in a week, then emphasize how this limited teaching time cannot be wasted if children are to have any hope of growing spiritually. Try this object lesson in your training meetings. It is effective motivation for teachers to maximize their instruction time.

Don’t Expect a Duplicate

You know how to run a class. It’s likely you became a leader because you served successfully at a lower level of responsibility. When you teach, you commit yourself to preparing properly. But you can’t assume others do the same.

Also, the standard for success you set for your workers cannot be that they must run their classes just like you would. They might but teachers need some leeway. Encourage them to demonstrate creativity as they fulfill their responsibilities.

Relationships Are the Key

The better you know your workers, the more you will be aware of who you can trust to serve with excellence and who may veer off track. Take time to strengthen relationships with your workers.

As you talk with your strongest team members, they will be delighted to tell you about their challenges and successes. What they share will encourage and inspire you. Conversing with less successful servers, you may see someone with great potential who simply needs additional training or requires motivation to prepare more thoroughly. However, you won’t be aware of either situation if you don’t take time to find out what’s happening in the classrooms.

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