How Do I Teach Students Who Seem to Know It All?

You may sometimes feel you’re teaching students who seem to know all the Bible stories and think you have nothing to teach them. Their eyes and minds are unfocused when you are talking. They play and talk throughout the Sunday school class. Is there any way to teach these students truths from God’s Word? Look at the following suggestions, try them in your classroom, and see how much your students can still learn.

Make the Lesson Fresh for Yourself
Even teachers need a fresh look at well-known lessons. When preparing for each lesson, read the objective and the life application goal. Then ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about these areas as you read the Scripture passages. When you realize the Word of God is alive and life changing, you should be filled with a desire for your students to discover this awesome power too. Finally, ask yourself these questions:

1. What is here that influences my life?

2. What is here that will have meaning to my students?

With these questions in mind, look over the activities suggested in the lesson. Determine which will hold the attention of your students and help them leave your class with something that has meaning in their lives.

Goals for Teaching

Expand Your Students’ Bible Knowledge

Students who have come to Sunday school for most of their lives have a lot of Bible knowledge. However, they can now understand more than they could when they were younger. Besides having had more experiences, their brains are more developed. Help your students begin to go beyond the mere recall of Bible facts to the realization that these facts have meaning for their lives. In the lesson, help your students understand what they believe and why they believe it.

Teach for Life Application

Your students are beginning to develop their own faith in God. They no longer just accept their parents’ faith. Help your students apply the lessons to their lives. First, apply the lesson to your life. How has this teaching helped you in a particular situation? How does it influence your thinking? How have you made it or how can you make it part
of your life? After that, you can help your students apply it to theirs.

Model a Growing Relationship with God
Let your students know you are growing and learning more as you prepare for each lesson. Let them see in your words and actions that you love God and want them to love Him too. Modeling a growing relationship with God can spark an interest in your students to continue to grow and learn in Sunday school.

Enjoy Teaching
Your students will pick up on your enthusiasm. They will want to come to a Sunday school class that is exciting and interesting to them.

Involve the Students in a Lesson-Related Activity
Give early arrivers something to do. A student with nothing to do will find something to do—and it’s usually not anything acceptable to the teacher. It is difficult after a start like that to regain control and effectively teach a lesson. Let early students help you set up the classroom, take attendance as the other students arrive, or prepare for an activity. Use an activity from the lesson that they can work on individually or in small groups. If you use a teacher guide, involve them in one of the ideas for introducing the lesson to build interest in what they will be learning.

Build Relationships with Your Students
Students are often open to the teaching of someone they admire and of someone they know likes them. Use the time before and during class to build good relationships with your students. Let them get to know you. When students arrive, greet them individually and talk to them about their week or their plans for later in the day. This may be a time when students reveal things about themselves that allow you to apply the lesson in specific ways that will help a student in his or her situation. (Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be sensitive to the students’ needs.) A warm relationship with the students is as important as what you tell them in the lesson. You are God’s representative of His love and care for them.

©2004 The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Taken from Children’s Ministries Help Sheets 2004.
Used by permission. Permission to reproduce for local church only.

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