I survived my first night of teaching Vacation Bible School!
That may not sound like a huge deal to some of you. Some of you might even be thinking, ‘Wait, people are still having Vacation Bible School?‘ (The answer is yes, by the way. I can almost guarantee there is a Baptist church within driving distance of your home who would love to take your children off your hands for a couple of hours. You should most definitely look into it.)
So you’re thinking, (besides googling your local Baptist church for a weeknight baby-sitter) ‘But I don’t remember VBS being that bad?’ But you know why you don’t remember VBS being that bad? It’s because you never had to teach it. Your recollections of VBS probably involve hot-dog-and -potato-chip dinners, pipe cleaner crafts, and rowdy renditions of “Father Abraham”.
But for the last few years, I’ve been on the other side of the VBS table: teaching, planning craft projects, and yes…even leading “Father Abraham.” The view is very different.
I now know what it’s like to plan a lesson and a corresponding craft, only to have your class run completely off the rails, five minutes into the lesson, and to have your craft supplies high-jacked by whichever teacher got there first.
I now know why some VBS teachers, allow the kids to play outside for the last 20 minutes of a 30 minute class period, and why VBS teachers rotate in and out every year. (NOBODY should be forced to do that job every year. That’s just plain mean. You shouldn’t do that to people you love.)
I also now know why none of the adults thought “Father Abraham”
was as fun as the kids. (I, for real, got dizzy on the last refrain!)
So I survived teaching VBS last night. But I also learned a few things:
- Show up early. The early bird gets the worm (and the good craft supplies).
- Lesson plans should be fluid. When dealing with elementary school children, be prepared to have the subject changed at least 5 times in a 15 minute conversation.
- Ask for help. My parent helpers saved my life, and the lives of at least two of my students last night. (Nobody was in real danger of death, but i might have gone to jail if I had to lay hands on somebody’s child!)
- And most importantly, Children’s Ministry is not for everybody. (see point #3).
I can hardly wait to see what we learn tomorrow.
P.S. I was not nearly as cool as the lady in the video.