Archive for April, 2013

04/30/13
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Junior High Age Level Characteristics


 

Many adults can’t effectively relate to junior high kids. Fear is often the reason. Relating to young adolescents can be a fearful process. Why? Here are several reasons:

  1. Junior highs are usually quite blunt. Whether it is your clothes, your hair, your accent or your teaching style—kids will let you know how they feel. Sometimes that will be by blurting out, “Why do you say ‘worship’ so funny?” Sometimes they’ll get the message across by making their handout into a paper airplane. Don’t look for compliments or even polite interest from junior highs.
  2. Young adolescents are perceptive. They hate hypocrites, even though they rarely see the hypocritical in themselves. Would you rather be somewhere else than teaching your class? Do you think your students are a bunch of juvenile delinquents? Kids can tell. Junior highs are able to sense the difference between people who like them and people who only tolerate them.
  3. Junior highs are changing daily. In a sense they are exploding: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Because of these changes, your students’ faces break out, their moods swing dramatically and their interests shift. They are unpredictable. Early adolescence is a uniquely crazy time.
  4. Junior high kids are insecure. Many of them try to mask that insecurity by acting the part of the clown or student, or nerd or womanizer or jock or bully or any of a thousand different roles. But the bottom line is that they’re insecure. And unfortunately too often that’s expressed in cruelty to others.
  5. Their relationship with you will be based on their insecurity as will their relationships with friends. Junior highs can be experts at keeping you at bay so that you will not see inside them. Don’t let their veneer of sophistication fool you.

Junior highs need adults. They need you. Pray that God will use you despite any fear or reluctance you may feel about teaching young adolescents. In the Spirit’s power, you have the opportunity to enter into their world and change them forever for Jesus.

Why should you minister to Junior High students? Because they are:

  • Thinking through adult issues although they are still children
  • Experiencing tremendous physical changes that can be very confusing
  • Experiencing personality and character formation
  • Dealing with increasing academic and moral pressure
  • Forming values and asking questions about life
  • Very impressionable and still accept adults as models for lifestyle and values Read the rest of this entry »

04/24/13
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Toddler Age Level Characteristics


A child’s basic attitude toward life, other people and God develops during the first five years. As the Sunday school teacher, it’s your job to help the students in your class develop positive attitudes toward God, his Word and his church. Their first impression of God is formed from the attitudes and actions of the adults in their lives, so as you teach God’s love for them and encourage their love for their heavenly Father, provide a loving atmosphere. At the same time, relax and enjoy the wonderful covenant children God has chosen to share with you! Read the rest of this entry »

04/22/13
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Preschool Age Level Characteristics


You are stepping in to assist parents and the church in nurturing these active 4- and 5-year-olds. You can open up a new world of learning for them by providing a predictable, well-structured and caring atmosphere. Wiggly preschoolers are not to young to develop the skill of quiet listening. As you prepare to tell the Bible story each week, lead your children in simple routines to prepare them to hear the Word of God. Understanding their characteristics and needs, you can teach preschoolers effectively. Read the rest of this entry »

04/17/13
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1st and 2nd Grade Age Level Characteristics


There is tremendous variation in reading and writing skills among 6- and 7-year-olds. You will need to structure your teaching in a way that accommodates both readers and non-readers. Being attuned to the differing and changing academic skills of your students will prepare you to teach effectively to this age group. Read the rest of this entry »

04/15/13
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3rd and 4th Grade Age Level Characteristics


Third and fourth graders are quickly growing in their ability to reason and discover, unlike younger children, who can think only literally. Middle Elementary students are able to discuss ideas; they can compare, contrast, analyze and discover. Read the rest of this entry »