What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lessons Learned from Teaching Kids

Every once in a while I like to report on my turn on the rotation of teaching kids on Wednesday night. Last week I had my wife Deb lead the adult Bible discussion while I got to learn from the children.

Since we're in 40 Days of Love at Pathway right now, I decided to teach the children on the topic of love from 1 Corinthians 13. I used the Contemporary English Version of the Bible since it is supposed to have an understanding level simple enough for 5th graders.

I had the kids read the verses one by one and we discussed whether or not we were good at showing love the way a particular verse talked about:

Do I take turns patiently without getting upset?
Do I get jealous of a friend's new clothes?
Do I show off or act as if others don't matter?
Am I polite and respectful of my parents and teachers?
Do I let someone else have the biggest piece of cake?
Do I call others names and try to get back at them?
Do I stay angry at someone for what he or she did?
Do I look for good in someone others say is bad?
Do I stand up for someone whom others pick on?
Do I believe that God can change difficult people?
Do I encourage others to do and be their best?
Do I choose to love others even when they disappoint?
Do I refuse to give up on someone, no matter what?

That's a pretty good list for adults to consider, let alone children!

If the children thought they were pretty good at showing love in a particular way, then they got to write their name beside that question. If not, they put a little star beside it to remind them what they needed to work on.

When the Bible was passed around and came to one little girl to read, she said, "I don't know how to read. I read backwards."

In a previous teaching/learning experience with the children I had noticed this same girl was able to put puzzle pieces together more quickly than anyone else in the class so I knew she was intelligent. (I had been using the puzzle as an object lesson about the story of Esther and how God put all of the pieces together in her life to bring out a beautiful result. As we put the puzzle together we talked.)

So, now trying to encourage her to read I said, "Oh, you have dyslexia. Did you know some of the smartest people who ever lived had dyslexia." (Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, etc.)

When I said this her mouth dropped open but she didn't say a word.

We went on reading a few more verses and talking about which areas of showing love that we each needed to work on.

When I asked for the next verse to be read she said, "Give me the Bible. It's my turn to read!" She sounded out the words slowly but with just a little help on a few big words, she was able to complete the reading.

After we discussed that verse the Bible was supposed to be passed on but she said, "Pastor Brian, is it okay if I read the rest of the verses?"


Another humorous incident in this same teaching setting was when I asked, "If you love others, why shouldn't you brag?" One little girl piped up and said, "Because you might hurt yourself!"

Kids are so cool!


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