2nd in a Series on Engaging Children and Motivating Them to Learn
Your excitement is contagious! Children need to see that you are excited about being with them. You cannot fake this! Children can tell if you are with them out of duty, guilt, or desperation, or if you enjoy being with them. They thrive when they know you truly love and choose them.
If you are working with children but your heart is not in it, follow these four suggestions:
- Ask God to give you a heart for working with your students.
- With the leaders of your church or program, pray and discuss whether this ministry is where God wants to use you.
- Add activities and events you enjoy.
- Build bridges of communication and interest with your students. Share things you are interested in.
As children see you opening to them, they will begin sharing with you. This will help you develop a heart for them. It will also help you break the ice and feel comfortable talking to and working with your students, and it will show the children that you are interested in them.
One of the easiest ways to build communication bridges is to add trivia questions to your review games, asking about those who work in your program and about your church, its pastor, and its missionaries. For example, What is Mrs. Ralph’s dog’s name? How many children does Mr. Jones have? What is Mrs. O’s favorite color? What country are the Edwards missionaries to? What language do the Edwards speak in Mexico? After I ask trivia questions, children come up to me and share what they like. We have crossed a bridge; we are communicating. And that builds excitement!
The room’s a mess, with litter on every surface. The paint has faded from the dirty walls, where one lone poster is slowly peeling away. The bulletin boards are empty. The upholstered chairs look filthy. And the plastic chairs seem varnished with dirt. But you want your kids to come in and be excited about learning in that room. Seriously? Next week’s article addresses how to engage children and motivate them to learn through what you do with their room (and more).