A Place Preschoolers Don’t Want to Be

A Place Preschoolers Want to Be

Preschool children need to feel secure and trust that they will be well cared for in order to feel safe being left in a class away from their parents or primary caregivers. If they experience the following they will begin to sense some discomfort that could impact the way they react the next time they are brought to class.

1) a lack of consistency

Preschoolers struggle with constant change and big surprises. They need lots of repetition and structure. They need to see the same people waiting to greet and teach them. Too many unknowns and their uncertainties will translate into insecurity about being there.

2) an expectation for them to do that which is beyond their capabilities

While young children do learn and churches should structure classes for them, teachers must understand that preschoolers cannot be expected to sit still and listen very long. If disciplined for being wiggly and active because a teacher is expecting them to sit beyond their attention span, children will begin to feel stressed. If reprimanded for coloring outside of the lines or ripping their craft project because the teacher is more concerned with the end result than the process, children will start to feel frustrated. When pressured to act out a part, do a fingerplay, or sing along when they don’t want to, they could get anxious. When children feel stressed, frustrated, or anxious, they don’t want to be there and they could soon act that way.

3) a long, drawn out time that is unstimulating

Preschool aged children learn through discovery … investigating, asking questions, using their senses. Classrooms that do little to engage them in these ways become uninviting. Teachers who themselves lack enthusiasm and do nothing to arouse children’s curiosity very likely will have minimal impact on them learning. Unstimulated children can get even more restless than normal for this age, making it obvious that they don’t want to be there.

What kind of environment do your preschool classes provide? Is it a place they would want to be?

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A Place Preschoolers Want to Be

A Place Preschoolers Want to Be

Young children do have the capacity to begin learning to know and love God.

To maximize that learning, they need to experience certain qualities in the classroom.

What Preschool Children Need:

1) security

Preschoolers often feel varying degrees of separation anxiety when they first arrive. To be okay with being there, they need to feel safe and secure. A sense of security can come through the way they are greeted and drawn into the class, the environment, and most importantly the way teachers treat them.

2) warmth

One of the ways young children will begin to feel secure is when they sense of warmth coming from the teacher that makes them feel like the teacher really cares. Aloof or otherwise busy teachers make them skeptical. Greet children as they arrive, get down of their eye level, smile and laugh with them. Such warm attentiveness makes them feel good. If they feel good, they will conclude that it is a safe place to be.

3) understanding

Children quickly pick up on the attitude of teachers who are annoyed by all their questions and demands or who are irritated with spills or breakages. Bible teachers of preschool classes need to be understanding when their students do that which is typical of this age level by being gentle, patient, and encouraging. If these little ones have reason to doubt that they will be cared for not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well, they will have a harder time feeling comfortable and trusting that it is an okay place to be.

Preschoolers who feel insecure, uncomfortable, and mistrusting of those in whose care they are being placed, will tend to be less cooperative and somewhat disinterested in learning because it is not a place they want to be. How important it is for teachers and helpers in the early childhood department to demonstrate these qualities!

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A Place Grade School Children Don’t Want to Be

A Place Grade School Children Want to Bel

 

Bible teachers of grade school children can try to make their classes as fun and interesting as possible but if the children feel threatened in any way, excitement will wane. If this becomes a persistent problem week after week students will not look forward to returning.

Grade School Children will not want to be in a place where they experience the following:

1) sense of incompetence or failure

Part of a gradeschoolers psychosocial development is building a sense of competence. They need to believe they can handle the task before them or they develop a sense of inferiority. If they can’t read as well as others, take longer to complete projects, always seem to lose at games, etc., they won’t be feeling very competent. As a result, they could begin to dread coming to class. Bible teachers need to compensate for those who are struggling to keep up by giving them manageable goals for tasks, providing clear instructions, and coming alongside of them with guided conversation. If you do not help grade school students succeed in the various classroom activities, they very likely will not find it a place they want to be.

2) chaotic atmosphere

While grade school children are seeking independence and may act like they don’t like rules, they actually do want some form of discipline and structure. Classrooms where students are out of control are not pleasant places to be. Students may get to feeling as though the teacher doesn’t care. They may not feel safe. Bible teachers, work on your classroom management skills. If you don’t, your students may not view your class as somewhere they want to be.

3) unhealthy relating

Whether it is kids bullying or picking on one another or teachers belittling or embarrassing kids, students on the receiving end of this kind of treatment will not look forward to coming to class. Friendships are a motivational factor for children at this age. They need a sense of belonging and acceptance which is missing in dysfunctional classrooms. Bible teachers, work at helping your students understand Body Life principles so children develop Christ-like relationships with each other. If they find the same kind of treatment they experience from kids in school, why would your classroom be a place they would want to be?

Are your grade school classrooms places children find success, order, and wholesome friendships?

More Resources on Teaching Grade School Children

A Place Grade School Children Want to Be

A Place Grade School Children Want to Bel

Most grade school students come to your Sunday School class, mid-week program, or other Bible study group because their parents bring them. How many truly want to be there? How many would stay home if their parents would let them? How many would be upset if their parents weren’t going to bring them?

Bible Classes that are characterized by the following will have a greater potential of being places grade school children want to be:

1) safe

If a child persistently gets picked on, is belittled when he doesn’t know answers, is asked to do something beyond his capabilities, is pressured into making spiritual decisions, or the like, the student will have little desire to come back for more of the same. But, when children feel boundaries are in place to keep them safe in these ways, they will be more prone to taking risks.

2) fun or at least interesting

When gradeschoolers are engaged, they tend to learn. These are lessons that include enough variety and creativity to not only get their attention but also keep it and that provide enough activity to meet their age level needs. When children find the class enjoyable, not boring, it is a place they will want to be.

3) choices

In a quest for independence, grade school students don’t always want to be told what to do and how to do it. An environment in which they are allowed to make some decisions is one in which they can thrive. It is a place they would want to be.

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