The race is on to prepare that perfect illustration, illusion or brand new game to go along with the lesson. You pull the curriculum book from the big Ziploc bag, open it up and realize that it is now late on Saturday night and the lesson calls for pipe cleaners which you do not have. The first thought is to run to Walmart and pick up some pipe cleaners for the lesson then get back and study. We have all had times when we failed to plan. The problem is not just that we failed to plan or planned poorly; the problem is that our relationship with the children in our class should not start or end within the walls of the classroom that we teach in. We need to get it in our hearts and minds that building a relationship with each child’s family is just as important as the lesson time itself.
The good thing is, even if you have been a “Saturday Warrior” in preparing your lesson at the last minute another Sunday is coming. Start your classroom preparation on Sunday afternoon by calling the absentees from your class or the family that visited for the first time to see if they had any questions. On Monday, maybe you could place a postcard in the mail reminding each person in your class how excited you are about class this Sunday. Doing these extra preparations will excite you about preparing your games, craft and lesson extra well.
Every one of us has a child in our class that we wish would just sit still for 5 seconds of the lesson. By the time class is over you're winded and all of your workers have this blank stare on their faces like they just saw the Boogie Man. This child has sugar running through his veins. This is a common occurrence at our church and I am sure that we are not the only ones. The first question to ask yourself is, “Has my relationship ended at the walls of the classroom?” Have you or one of your workers been into the home of that child. In most cases the answer is, “No”. You may be surprised at what would happen if you set an appointment with the parents and gave that family and that child the time that they desperately need. The Sunday after the visit the child will not just see you as a teacher or as a hindrance to their disobedience or fun; they will see you as someone who came and spent time with them. Children think differently than we do. Children think in time.
There are many stories that I could share about the transformation that we have seen in children just by a simple visit. We have seen disobedient children become more obedient. We have seen unwilling children become willing. We have seen God work miraculously through a simple visit to the child’s home. We as teachers need to get out of the mindset that the classroom time is the only time we need to have face to face time with a child and his family.
The next time that child seems distant, disobedient or disorderly. Ask yourself, “Where has my relationship ended?”