Every year kids go to their next class on promotion Sunday. Often this means a new teacher, and even new classmates.
What bums me out is that I’ve NEVER seen an on-purpose lesson that introduces everyone to each other and sets the stage for a great year. Instead the teacher just dives into whatever the next lesson in the curriculum is.
I think this should go very differently. I believe every teacher should start every year with a “getting to know you week” whether the class is entirely brand new or not.
Promotion Sunday Lesson
(Curriculum Members: Here is the “getting to know each other” lesson I created for you: “Hello My Name Is…”)
So, why have a promotion Sunday lesson?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
1. It helps you relate
When you are teaching the Bible, or anything for that matter, you will often find yourself wanting to describe a situation by saying “this is LIKE….”. By saying “this is like” you are referencing a modern situation kids understand to help them better understand an ancient Biblical situation they aren’t as familiar with.
For instance, take Adam in the Garden of Eden. When God says you can eat of any tree except for one, we all understand that…to a degree.
But if I describe that situation to a kid by saying, “this is LIKE walking into the world’s biggest food court and hearing your parents tell you that you can pick any food you want to eat EXCEPT for the restaurant in the middle. The restaurant in the middle is off limits”
All of a sudden Adam’s ancient situation (being in the garden of Eden and having ALMOST every tree to choose from) becomes a LOT easier to understand!
So, to my earlier point, if you take the time at the beginning of the year to find out more about your class you’ll discover their favorite TV shows, their favorite movies, their favorite games, etc… And then when it comes time to compare an ancient scenario to a modern one, you have LOTS of ideas to choose from!
When you reference a movie your classroom loves, to a situation in the Bible, the kids instantly “get” what you are talking about. When you describe something unknown (Biblical text) by comparing it to something known (their favorite movie) the information is a lot easier to digest!
2. It tells the kids they matter
Think back to your days as a kid…that was just a few years ago, right 😉
Who were the coolest adults to you? Or perhaps a better way to ask it, who were the adults that you thought understood you the best?
If you think back, the adults you most felt comfortable with were the ones who made you feel understood. And the way they made you feel understood was by being relateable. They could talk about your favorite movies. They could talk about your favorite sports. They could talk about the things that were important to you.
It works the same way now that you’re an adult teaching kids. You will instantly have tons of rapport with kids when you talk about their favorite TV shows, games, and movies.
There’s nothing that makes an adult see more out of touch than referencing a movie the kids know is 30 years old. But when an adult references the right movies, the kids subconsciously realize that you must understand them.
So if you want to teach kids effectively, understand what they love and begin to watch and understand it yourself. This kind of connection with kids might be the most underrated aspect of a great teacher.
3. It show you understand their life
I was teaching not that long ago and I asked the kids to think about a time when they were sitting on the couch watching a TV show. I thought this was a great example and a great way to get their attention focused on the topic I was about to teach.
The funny thing was that the vast majority of the kids couldn’t appreciate this example. As I talked with the kids most of them didn’t sit down to watch TV. Their free time was used up with games and apps. They didn’t sit down and channel surf, instead they were on a phone or iPad playing games or watching YouTube.
Every generation is different. Every generation entertains himself a little bit differently. It is vital as a teacher that you understand how your kids entertain themselves so when the time comes you can speak into that.
My point here goes back to the whole cultural relevance thing. As us teachers get older we all face an uphill battle trying to stay up with current trends. And while this might seem like an impossible task one way to make it dramatically simpler is to simply ask kids at the beginning of every year what they like. When you find out a kid’s favorite movie, favorite TV show, and favorite games, you have a playbook, as it were, for understanding the students God gave you. And when you take the time to understand them you become a much better teacher and can have a far greater impact on the most important decisions of their entire life.Share this post: