Children's Teachers Using Adopt-a-Class

July 1st, 2013

Balancing the need to teach with the need to learn is never easy. The Adopt-a-Class Program is a creative way to balance those needs and to provide Sunday school staff at the same time.

How do you recruit enough adults to teach children's Sunday school classes when those same adults want to attend their own classes? In some churches asking adult classes to adopt children's classes may be the answer!

In many churches, adult Sunday morning classes have been an important setting for persons to feel that they belong. So members of adult classes can understandably be reluctant to leave their own classes for a year to teach children's classes. Yet, children's classes often need two to four adults to teach in each children's class so one solution is the Adopt-a-Class Program.

Visit each adult class to invite it to sponsor a children's class. Share with the adult classes what the Adopt-a-Class program is and present which age levels needed to be adopted. Ask the adults to think and pray about committing themselves to teaching.

If an adult class decides to adopt a children's class, the adult class can ap­point an Adopt-a-Class Coordi­nator who:

  • compiles a list of class members willing to minister by teaching the adopted class for two quarters;
  • works with the education staff to set up the teaching schedule;
  • keeps all members who were minis­tering elsewhere during class time informed of class activities (by newsletter, audio of class sessions, and per­sonal contact);
  • keeps the class informed of what class members are doing in the adopted class (by bulletin boards and announcements); and
  • plans one or more opportuni­ties a year for the adult and children's classes to become bet­ter acquainted (party, outing, re­freshment time).

The teaching schedule is based on four or five teaching teams of two persons each. The teams rotate two quarters teaching, two quarters in the adult class.

Be sure to offer training for new teachers (Team 1) each fall. This trained team serves as lead teachers for the fall quarter. During the fall, the new team (Team 2) helps where need­ed and gains experience so they are ready to become lead teachers the Winter quarter with (Team 3) assisting them. During the Spring quarter (Team 3) leads, while (Team 4) helps, and Summer quarter (Team 4) leads and (Team 1) assists. An extensive handbook of information and suggestions, updated each quarter, also supports the teachers.

There are many positive results of using an Adopt­ a-Class Program. Adults aren't out of their own classes for more than two quarters at a time. Most teaching teams receive on­-the-job training before they take responsibility for being lead teachers. Substitute teachers are often found within the adopting adult class and usually have taught before. Children and adults expand their circle of friends into groups and families they've never met. Some adult classes will adopt the same age level for several years, which will simplify recruiting.

The Adopt-a-Class Program works well be­cause it meets the teaching and learning needs of both chlldren and adults as they share their faith with one another.

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