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📚 ‪#TeachingTipTuesday ‬📚 - Get Them Talking!

Today’s #TeachingTipTuesday is GET THEM TALKING!

Encouraging and creating a safe environment for class participation is one of the most interesting facets of being a Sunday School Teacher/Facilitator. There are always varying personality types in class and you have a big job to engage them all. There’s the:

  • Know It All – Their ways are higher than everyone else’s ways…at least in their own minds. They want to impress everyone with their knowledge, skillset or experience. You have to manage this person. You don’t want them to dominate and squash the willingness of others to share and yet there can be value in their contribution. Be intentional in how you engage them while mindful not solely default to them.

  • I’m Just Quiet: This person may just be quiet by nature. Perhaps they are natural introverts. They may never talk…and you have to be ok with this. But do not mistake this for not being connected or learning. Is there another way to engage them? Perhaps they can help with social media postings as a recap of your lesson OR help in an administrative way with building the class.

  • Not Feeling Connected: Think about how you contribute when you are in meetings or class versus hanging out with your closest friends. Where are you most open and authentic? Of course most people feel more comfortable sharing as they become more familiar with their environment. Think about monthly fellowship moments to help create community with your class. You may also find a question of the week an assign a different pairs to research and return the next week with a response. Help them get to know one another.

  • I Don’t Have A Clue: There are times when perhaps a subject just isn’t connecting with a student. Example…Old Testament isn’t always easy to read. It is far less narrative. Teachers are often buzzing with all of the background history and research while at times students are stuck in trying to understand the modern day relevance. Or perhaps the discussion has pushed them to a place of deep reflect Slow down…check for learning along the way. Incorporate discussion time to break up lecture styles.

  • Please Don’t Judge Me: Sunday School will at times open conversations for people to share from their own experiences or perhaps ways in which they connect with the lesson learnings. One great ground rule to set is “what happens in Sunday School stays in Sunday School,” It’s important to create a “Safe Environment.”

  • I’m Just Scared:Bible study forums often the cloud of intimidation in “knowing the Bible” as well as others. Back to the idea of creating a “Safe Environment”, it is necessary to establish that no one knows it all. No one is perfect. And there are no silly questions. Our classes are not the place of judgment. Create a space where bold moves in (relevant) sharing are celebrated, not tolerated or judged. This is where true growth can occur.

Pray and continually ask God to help you create an environment that is welcoming of participation, valuing of perspective and encourages the learning process!

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