Sunday, September 10, 2006

Inside My Heart

For a number of years, I've written Sunday School, Children's Church, and Vacation Bible School curriculum for several companies. It's quite a challenge to choose activities to suggest to a teacher that will effectively communicate the Bible story, cater to all the different learning styles of the students, and fit the teacher's budget, time limitations and available resources.

I love the challenge! It's a great sense of satisfaction to see a lesson come together. I enjoy the challenge of being able to communicate the simple truths of God's Word in as many creative activities, games, songs, and even snacks as my allotted number of pages will allow. My poor family! When I greet them at the door with "Guess what I came up with today?" or "You wanna hear my latest Bible skit?" it's an automatic cue for them to put their heads in their hands and maon, "Oh, no!"

But let's face it. A lesson plan in a teacher's guide is sterile. It doesn't accurately reflect what really happens Inside The Classroom. It isn't supposed to. Even the best curriculum cannot possibly meet the unique needs of that particular group of children. Nor can it predict how the children will react. It can't anticipate Jeff who asks questions just to get the teacher off track, or Justin who dumps a wastebasket over Jason's head just to prove he isn't the sweet, adorable little boy Teacher thinks he is. That lesson plan doesn't allow time for spilled paint the very day the teenage helper decides to go sit with her boyfriend in church or for the second grader who stubbornly wants to stay with her sister in your preschool class instead of going to her own class because Dad just left Mom that week and the little girl wants the security of the familiar.

That's what I want to share in this blog. I've been teaching my own children and other parents' children for over twenty five years. I know as well as anyone that teaching children does not happen by the book. More often than not, they teach me more than I think I have taught them.
Jesus told his followers that unless we become like little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Over the years, children have taught me to have a wide eyed wonder at the world, an exuberant, unquestioning faith, and a forgiving, unconditional acceptance of others. They have taught me to look at God's Word simply, to make His Word personal, and that it's ok to laugh and cry.

This blog, posted weekly, will share my stories of life as a parent, teacher, and curriculum writer and the lessons I've learned from the kids.


Crystal said...

Karen, It's so good of you to share your expert experience in this area and I look forward to this blog. I'll add it to my blogroll and point people who can benefit from it to this place. Welcome to Blogdom!

Nancy said...

Karen, welcome to the blogging world. Your expertise will certainly help many others. And what a wonderful angle. Yes, those we seek to help often end up helping us more.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Karen, This blog is a perfect fit for you. Your first-hand knowledge, years of experience and creative ideas will no doubt make your blog a favorite resource among teachers. Teach on!