Re: teacher training


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Posted by Thomas J. Cook on January 16, 1998 at 10:14:52:

In Reply to: teacher training posted by Edwin Hardy on January 15, 1998 at 09:15:56:

: As a new minister of christian education i am
: concerned about the on going maturity and
: teaching skills developement of todays sunday
: school teachers.

Edwin--

You are right on target. Niel Jackson says that poor training is one of the top four reasons for lack of effectiveness in Sunday School work. As an employee of Lucent Technologies, I am required to participate in 40 hours of training (on company time and budget!) each year. But too often we expect our teachers to know what to do with no support from the church.

The result is at best that they "teach as they were taught", with methods and approaches that were marginally effective twenty years ago, but can't compete for pupils' attention in current society, nor do they address current life needs. At worst, we get frustrated teachers with no joy in service and a high turnaround rate because they realize they are not effective and don't know where to turn for help.

On a more positive note, my suggestion is to start with your denomination for help, or the publisher of your curriculum materials. They should have some free training programs available to support your training program. Add to this regular teacher's meetings based on encouragement, motivation, communication, and high-quality training in practical classroom skills (how to prepare a lesson, basic teaching methods, pupil age-group characteristics, group dynamics, classroom management, basic doctrine, etc.)

You don't specify your denomination, but let me recommend that you take a look at the Southern Baptist Christian Growth Study Plan (check out the URL attached, or go to www.bssb.com and look at the "SSB Sites" list. The Sunday School Board publishes some excellent teacher training resources; you might want to give them a call at 800-458-2772 (ask for a catalog).

I should also mention that the curriculum materials you use go a long way toward supporting your teachers in doing a good job week by week as well as growing in teaching skills on the job. You may also want to look at the Sunday School Board's curriculum lines while you're on the web site, and evaluate what you're using now in light of what they offer. (Many denominations other than Baptist are using SBC curriculum materials.)

Hope this is a start at some help--

Tom Cook




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