Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday School Class 1

“Mr. Kevin is going to tell us a verse right now and the first one to turn to it wins the prize.”

This was unexpected, but I knew just the one.

“1 Timothy 4:12”

Last Sunday was my first real day as a Sunday school teacher. The introductory class was over. I had prepared a lot for the job. I read various parts of the Bible, the book Do Hard Things, and read several blog posts on unschooling and children. Several people warned me how wild and crazy sixth graders were and how I wouldn’t be able to control them, but I ignored that and instead listened to my friend Matt. He had done childcare for the better part of six years and I asked him his secret.

“Treat them like adults”
“That’s it?”
“Ya, it’s super easy”

I took it with a grain of salt until I read the book Do Hard Things. The book is written by a couple of teenage guys who have done some amazing things. Their message, break out of societies ideology that teens aren’t capable and go out and do something great.

I expected a brief discussion on what to talk about in small groups, but I was just sent some kids. It was somewhat intimidating as it was my first experience. I just decided to go with it though.

So as the kids sat down I busted out the lesson plan, but I didn’t follow it. I identified the theme and the important verses and instead started asking for volunteers for roles and gave them options for what they wanted to do. The kids became engaging and excited. They got to decide what happened next? Everyday of their lives they are being told what to do and what not to do. All of a sudden these six kids that I had seen slouching and looking around were staring straight at me. I asked questions and I received better insight from sixth graders then I have gotten from some adults. As we continued talking I asked how many of them have ever felt like an adult doesn’t give them enough credit for what they can accomplish. Every single one raised their hands.

I then explained to them the idea of a sphere of influence. I asked them to guess how many people I see at work everyday. The general consensus was around 20. I informed them it was in fact 6. I asked them how many people they saw a day; for most it was around 25-30. We then talked about how they could positively affect the lives of those around them. I explained to them how much more they were capable of doing to help their friends, classmates, and school.

I’m excited for next Sunday, because I’m the one who is learning the most. As young teens they are constantly cultivating their ideas, cores, and belief. I’m just blessed to be able to have the opportunity to direct them. I can only hope as the year goes on I am able to have a greater impact; they’ve already changed me. O yea, and the verse:

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

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