Tips for the First-Time Teacher – Part 4
Last month, one of the tips addressed the need of remembering and recognizing birthdays. Here are some other records that the first-time Sunday school teacher might consider keeping:
- Salvation and Baptism Dates – You may wonder why a teacher might need to keep this type of information. Surely the eight-year-old girl who comes from that strong Christian family or the thirty-year-old man who has been attending church for at least four months is already saved? Those teenage boys have been attending Sunday school since they were in preschool; they must have been baptized at some point in their youth—right? The reality is that we teachers cannot know unless we ask, and we might be surprised by some of the answers we hear. If a student cannot remember ever making that important salvation decision, then it is possible he has never made it. He may not remember the exact date—which is not too uncommon—but if he cannot remember ever accepting Christ Jesus as Savior, then we should be ready with Bible in hand.
- Special Events – The number and types of special events we teachers should consider recording are relative to the class we teach and to our own preferences. Perhaps you do not want or need to know the birth dates of all forty-eight children represented in your adult Sunday school class or the anniversary dates of each of the twenty-six mothers and fathers represented in your class of teenage girls, and perhaps you do. That’s entirely up to you. Consider, though, what events matter to and would undoubtedly be deemed “special” by those specifically in your class. If you teach a children’s class, you probably want to have records of birthdays—that one is pretty much universal for all ages—upcoming school or church events (i.e., competitions or concerts in which they would be involved, first day of school, etc.), and others. If you teach a class for engaged or newly married couples, you probably want to have a records of birthdays—there it is again—wedding anniversaries, the purchase of a new home, the birth of the first child, and others.
- Contact Information – At North Valley, all of us Sunday school teachers are encouraged to contact our students each week—by a home visit, with a telephone call, or with a note or letter in the mail or via e-mail. Because of this, our teachers keep records of addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, summer term addresses, etc. If you teach a children’s class, you want to include the names of your students’ parents in your records and direct your outside-of-class correspondence with your students to and through the parents.
- Prospective Student Information – This is information about those who could be in our classes but, for some reason, are not. Perhaps these are people we have come across in the grocery store or when going soul winning or have met during visitor welcome in church.