On Supporting Your Students Throughout the Summer

Summer has come upon us in the Northern Hemisphere! And with it, summer vacations, and (in some parishes, at least) a break from Sunday Church School. If that is the case for your parish, how do you plan to continue the relationship you have built with your Sunday School students? Several years ago, we published this blog post that suggests a few ideas for keeping in touch with your Sunday Church School students over the summer: https://orthodoxchurchschoolteachers.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/keeping-in-touch-with-sunday-church-school-students/.

What other ideas do you have? How do you continue to care for your students outside of the Sunday Church School room? Please share your suggestions and ideas with the community!

Here are a few ideas (besides those mentioned in the blog) of ways that you can show your students that you care about them, even when you are not in class together:

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Praying for your students is, first and foremost, the best thing you can do for them, both during the Sunday Church School year, and over the summer. Here’s one way to do so: by praying for different areas of their life, arranged alphabetically by theme: http://www.courageouschristianfather.com/abcs-praying-students/#axzz49gBvdT94

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Summer is an excellent time to review your job as a Sunday Church School teacher. How did you do this year? What seemed to work? In what areas could you have done better? Read over this (non-Orthodox, but still helpful) list of 8 qualifications for a Sunday Church School teacher, and challenge yourself to improve in at least one of the areas during the coming year. https://disciplr.com/8-qualities-great-sunday-school-teacher/

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“Get to know your students outside of class. This is what makes the difference between a Sunday School teacher and a Christian who is trying to help disciple her students towards God.” Find this quote and more in this great (not Orthodox, but very helpful) article: http://www.parentinglikehannah.com/2013/09/how-sunday-school-teachers-can-partner-with-parents.html

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Several times throughout the summer, write each of your students a letter. It can be lengthy, thanking them for the positive ways they contributed to your SCS class this year, or just a short note wishing them well and encouraging them to keep studying the scriptures and their faith throughout the summer. Consider printing a free coloring page (perhaps this site would have a verse you studied, or one that will encourage your students?) https://papergiftsforestefany.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/scripture-doodles1/ and writing the note somewhere on that printed page. Or perhaps you could find an activity page based on a story you studied in class during the year (here is one possible source:http://sundayschoolzone.com/resource-type/activities-for-kids/). Be sure to mail the letters to your students, even if you see the students at church every week: everyone loves to get “real” mail! (Who knows, maybe one of them will write back to you, as well!)

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Consider hosting a “class reunion” in your Sunday Church School classroom during coffee hour one Sunday during the summer. Eat your coffee hour food together or share ice cream and talk about how the summer is going.

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Near the end of the summer, invite last year’s students to come help you clean up the room and get it ready for the next class. Spend a few minutes after a coffee hour working together to get the room ready for the new group, and, in the process, find out what your students remember about class. This will give you a great chance to touch base with each of them one more time while also finding out what worked and did not in the past year!

 

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One thought on “On Supporting Your Students Throughout the Summer

  1. Pingback: On Evaluating the Sunday Church School Year | Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers

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