My first Sunday school lesson and here's what happened

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Flavio, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Well, it wasn't brilliant.

    I never worked with kids this young before (12 - 13 y.o.) and I believe they hated my guts.

    They barely said a word and I'm terrified they might leave my class.

    To make matters worse, working conditions are terrible, there is very little space and I can't invite any companies for extracurricular activities.

    The only thing that really worked today was the Lord's Prayer, which we recited together. Thank you Lord!

    Please pray for me, I really want this to work. Any tips on how to deal with 13 y.o. monsters are also welcome.
  2. Sorry to hear that. Praying for ya. :)
    Flavio likes this.
  3. Well in my experience, if they are silent they don't hate you. You are just an adult they don't know and trust. So give it time. Best tip I can give you, don't blame yourself. Every time could be different. What method works today, could totally be de opposite of what will work the next time. They are changing fast. It's not an easy task to become an adult.
    Cturtle, JG27_chili, Roads and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  4. You are still alive!!!!

    Take the class outside under a tree!
    KingJ, JG27_chili and Flavio says Amen and like this.
  5. Ask God to give you inspiration, and the words to speak. Then go in there, trusting the Spirit of God to do the work, not you. Looks are deceiving.
    Angela333, Cturtle and Flavio says Amen and like this.
  6. Thanks for you support guys, it means a lot to me.

    Things were a bit chaotic yesterday, I actually didn't spend much time with them because they had to attend a lecture by the school director.

    Next week, I'll use my 'secret weapon': twelve Android tablets. Some consider technology to be 'satanic' and evil but kids usually love it! :D :D
    Fish Catcher Jim and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  7. Thanks again, Euphemia.

    I wonder, however, if God 'wants' me to fail and teach me a lesson in humility. I was extremely arrogant before my lessons began and I thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Well, it's not going to be a piece of cake, that I know for sure.

    May God help me, I really want this to work but His will, not mine, be done.
    Angela333 likes this.
  8. The fact that you just said what you said is a step in the right direction toward humility.

    The best teacher is always one who is the best student.
    Flavio, JG27_chili and Roads says Amen and like this.
  9. Ha, that age group is actually the age I find easiest to work with (10+ years of summer camp leadership, currently a school teacher). They're still young enough that they're not too cool to have fun, but old enough that they have some great observations and insights about life.

    Here are a few things I've learned to do over the years:

    - Spending time building rapport is not wasting time -- plan for it. Use ice breaker games every lesson (really important to have fun together). Ask questions about their lives and genuinely want to know about them. Get to know what they like, and use their interests in your lessons as much as possible.
    - They should be talking more than you are in lessons. Give them space to be heard. Prove you care by listening. That's more important to them than you having all the answers.
    - When you prepare your lesson, don't answer the question, "What do they need to learn?" Answer, "What can I do to inspire curiosity?" You want them to be seekers of truth... not absorbers of everything they hear.
    - Use trial and error. Be okay with failing. Kids are more forgiving than you think. They're more forgiving than adults are, anyway...
    - Expect them to have great insights. Practice asking better and better questions. Read about how to ask better questions.
    - Let time do its thing. You only see them once a week, so expect it to be uncomfortable for a while until they get used to you. Most kids like adults after a while as long as they're not particularly mean and cranky adults. If I'm working with a new class, I expect that it will take about two months before I have enough rapport to really work with, and that's seeing them three times a week. They don't hate you. They just want to make sure you're alright before they open up. And that's actually pretty reasonable. It's like cats -- if you want a new cat to like you, you don't chase it around the house and try to catch it. You just don't be mean to it, and keep putting out its food and water, and eventually it comes to you.
    - Connect with other sunday school teachers if you can get the chance. Maybe once in a while, you can get someone to take your class so you can go to another church with a great youth sunday school, and just sit in and observe. I would be a much, much worse teacher if I never did this. Almost everything I do, I copied from someone else.

    When I'm planning lessons, I keep a note of guidelines posted on the wall in front of me for reference. Mine says,
    - Does this inspire curiosity?
    - Trial and error
    - Embrace the mess
    - Make space for fun

    Which is slightly adapted from a Ted Talk by Ramsey Musallam called "3 rules to spark learning." Look it up. Definitely worth a watch.
    Angela333, Flavio, Euphemia and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  10. God doesn't want any of us to fail, but e will take our human failings and turn them into strengths and success, if we give them to Jesus and follow His lead. You simply overestimated your human strength. Now, give it all to Jesus and ask Him to take over the class using you. He will do it!
  11. At least with kids you don't have to assume what they thinking you can know it :).

    Kids of that age I would say listen to stories and like interacting as they not as reserved and shy as adults.
  12. Just one more thing. Kids today are very impatient. They get bored easily. They just want to have fun....all the time. Never just stand up there and read scripture like you can with adults. Kids need you to speak to them on their level. You need to make Sunday school another fun activity for them whilst getting the gospel acrross. I guess for you this is a no brainer though. I would like to teach kids. I think it can be lots of fun.
  13. Thinking God might ever want you to fail to teach you is no way truth at all. He allowed you to go with your way and allowed you to see You Can Not Do This On Your Own.. See He is a gentlman as well..........He will step back and let you do things your then this is what matters..........How long will it take before one grasp this and seeks Him for His way.

    it is not that you fall that matters - it is how fast you get up that counts........
    God Bless

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