Today, let’s begin by stating your purpose. What is your purpose as a church school teacher? Write down 3 things that are your top priorities. I’d love to hear what you wrote! Post it in the comments below. It’s important to share with others and hear what they are thinking. Check out what others had to say! Yes, it is important to teach the curriculum and have awesome lessons (I’ll write on that another time) but, at the end of the day, our children need to know they are valued. They need to know the love of Christ. You don’t know where they’ve been, what they’ve experienced or how they feel about themselves. It is our job to model the love that Christ gave to others. Here’s an example. When I student taught first grade, I had a student that had difficulty connecting with the group. We’ll call him Bobby. He did not participate in the lessons and would have meltdowns. He was in trouble every day. Nothing positive was said to him at school. He had no friends. In one of my education classes, I learned about making it a point to show children you care and how it can greatly impact them. I was anxious to try out these methods but in reality felt that it might just be a fantasy written up in a textbook. I started my experiment by greeting the kids as they walked into the classroom, made sure I said their name, gave a high five and said something positive, like “I’m so glad you’re here today.” If someone was absent, I made a point to tell him or her that we missed them. I also tried to ask each child a question about him or herself throughout the day to have some sort of connection with them. The results were amazing! Several children that were quiet started to talk more. They began telling me about their lives and I felt that we were connecting. It was Bobby’s transformation that totally blew me away. After about a week into my experiment, he participated in class for the first time!! I could not believe it. I thought I’d never reach him. He would talk to me and tell me about what he did at home. I will always remember him and how much a small gesture of care impacted his life. If we didn’t have that connection, he would have never paid attention to the lessons or learned what he needed to go on to second grade. Imagine how your students could be impacted and how much more they could learn with just a small change in how you greet and interact with your students. I am by no means writing this to toot my own horn. In humility I write it to show you how something as simple as greeting a child and using his or her name can greatly impact their lives. You might think you’re not good enough to reach these children or you don’t have much to offer, but with prayer God can work through you to show them His immense love. As St. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 3:12: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you” (NKJV). As you show your students the love of God, may their hearts overflow and share His love with others. Up Next: Morning Meetings — It’s not just for Preschool!