Youth Forward Scholarship 2018 – The art of being a Sunday School teacher

Name: Jonathan Anand
From: Galveston, Texas
Grade: College Freshman
School: Texas A&M university
Votes: 0

I have been actively involved, as a volunteer, in Sunday School. I have
been teaching at Coastal Community Church every Sunday for an hour
every week for the past 6 months. I previously taught, for about 2
years, predominantly Indian children in my church in Dubai. I teach
children in ages 5 to 7: I narrate stories from the bible and outline
the value and learning from these stories. It is, in my opinion,
important to build critical values in the children that will stand
them in good stead all their life. I combine the teaching with a lot
of activities aimed to keep the children engaged. Activities include
memorizing bible verses or drawing Noah’s ark; the child who
completes the task first is given a prize, for example, a chocolate.
A big part of the job is keeping the children engaged and interested.
We all know that their attention span is low and even though it is
crucial to communicate the basic information but it’s even more
important to communicate it in a way in which they like and will more
likely retain it. Activities that involve physical movement or
something that is very eye pleasing will catch their attention and
help them both to have fun and to understand the subject itself. Yet
it is important to achieve the right balance. It is a constant uphill
task we face every week: at times we find that the children are
zoning out because the material is a lot to take in and at other
times all we do is have fun and play games. Sometimes the children
remember the fun part but not the values part. As a teacher, the most
satisfying part is seeing them growing up during the course of the
year and learning the bible and being able to take the values back
home to apply it. The biggest takeaway from being a teacher and
educating people is that early stages of a person’s life is
absolutely crucial. It is when they are young that they begin to form
opinions on people, situations and begin to form their concept of
good and bad. I have also seen that children, whether Indian or
American, have similarities in learning. It is one of the things I
began to realize as a I taught that whatever I told them will lay a
strong foundation on which they will build and make decisions:
decisions that might perhaps save their lives from the challenges our
society faces and that we read and see on the news media today.

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