As I am writing this blog, it is the last week of school for the year. I am finishing up a Prayer unit with my 7th graders. As part of the unit, I prayed for a different one of my students each day. It took me almost a month to complete. I gave my students a calendar so the students knew which day I was praying for them. I knew they appreciated that I prayed for them.
The main thesis of the prayer unit is to teach the students that prayer is to be a selfless act. You are praying as Jesus taught us to pray. To my surprise, I found that I gained a lot by praying for my students.
Through the students’ prayer requests, I found out parts of their lives. I heard their fears and joys. I heard their hopes and wishes. I found out about their family life.
I got to know my students in an amazing way. One of the top ways to get to know your students is to pray for them. All age groups enjoy being prayed for. Do you have a prayer ministry in your classroom?
Another way to get to know your students is to hang out with them. During lunchtime, do you sit with your students or do you sit behind your desk. Students want to see that you are real person; also you will get to understand the heart of the students by just talking with them.
Here is a list of questions you can ask your students (use the ones that are appropriate to the age and gender of your students).
- Do you have any pets? What do you like about them?
- What do you like to do when you are not at school?
- What TV shows or movies do you like to watch?
- What is your favorite kind of ice cream or pizza?
- Where do you like to go on vacation?
A colleague of mine was talking to a student in her classroom, and she found out that the student likes comics. Every Monday, she now brings the student a comic from her Sunday paper. This simple act has helped her to connect with her student.
Another way to get to know your students is to read books about child development. A book that I am currently reading is Nurture Shock by Bo Bronson and Ashley Merryman. I have found that book is well written and engaging. I agree with most of it, and I have enjoyed the approach the author takes on child development.
For example, there is a section on giving praise to students. The authors have found that it is more important to not give praise for intelligence but rather praise for hard work.
Here is a link to the book on Amazon. Please click here to be directed to the Amazon page.
So, the 7th out of the 7 must haves in your Christ-centered worldview is to get to know the children in your classroom. I encourage you to work through each of the 7 must haves that I have written about this year in the blog series. When you are finished, I encourage you to write out your Christ-centered worldview this summer.
In the next blog post, I will wrap up this series and conclude with how CSI’s Bible Curriculum Walking with God and His People builds Christ-centered worldview.