by Cathy Joens
It is often necessary to have three or more teachers teaching a Sunday school class. The teachers take turns teaching a Sunday each month. When a class has many teachers, keeping consistency and communication are key to success. The following are ways consistency can be maintained. First, plan together quarterly or once a month. Second, keep the same routines in the classroom. Third, connect with the children. And, fourth, evaluate how things are going.
Plan together: When there are many teachers serving one classroom, use a team approach. Establish a team leader. The team leader is preferably one of the classroom teachers; if not, the team leader can be a staff person or coordinator of Sunday school. The team plans together. The teachers serving the one classroom meet together once a month or quarter to go over their sessions. This allows for each of the teachers to get an overview of all of the session plans and so that there is some connection and consistency between lessons. During this meeting time, the team also can get a list of supplies for the month or quarter so that you all will have what you need in the classroom.
Keep the same routine: Routine is important for any age level; for children, routine is essential. Consider how much time you have for the class and what elements of the time are important. For example: Greeting children as they come in, doing the beginning activity, experiencing the story, and reflecting and sharing in prayer time. There should always be elements that are consistent week to week.
Connect with the children and each other: Relationships are essential for learning. Children need to feel and know that they are important to the teacher. Consistency of the relationship can be lost when various teachers lead one class. One way to provide consistency is for the team of teachers to report on the students’ presence and needs each week. For example, who was absent? Why were they absent? What were the prayer requests? What are the special things they are involved with this week (science fair, soccer game, and so forth)? Did you have a difficult student? Is this an ongoing issue? The team can communicate by e-mail each week or through social media. There are a variety of ways to connect weekly without having another in-church meeting.
Evaluate: How are things going in the classroom? What is working well and what can work better? What do you need to make this classroom experience move from good to great? What resources do you need (substitutes, technology, and so forth)? What are you doing about times when a teacher has to be out for some reason? Do you have a substitute list and do the substitutes know the routine of the classroom?
These four ingredients can help make your classroom a wonderful and meaningful learning experience for you and your children: Plan together, keep the same routine, connect with the children and each other, and evaluate.