One of the great things about a new year is getting a new class to teach if you are a Primary or a Sunday school teacher. It is always hard to say good-bye to students that you have grown to care about, but it is also nice to start out fresh and to get new students as well. If you are beginning to teach with a new set of students it is important to get off to a good start. Here are a few suggestions.
First if you are teaching Primary, then introducing yourself to the children before the first Sunday of the year is a nice thing to do. You can do this by speaking to them at church, or visiting them at home. If they are in senior Primary you can do this through a phone call, but it is always nice to talk to mom or dad as well.
Second it is important to get to know your students, so that they know that you care about them. This can be as simple as getting to know their names, and one or two things that they are interested in. It also means spending a few minutes at the end talking about things that they are interested in. If you know they love their dog, ask about their dog or if they love ballet ask about ballet, it doesn’t need to be too personal or deep.
Third set guidelines for the behavior that you expect from the first day. Children and teenagers are willing to behave and interact, but they have to know what you expect of them. If you are facing a difficult class, then you may want to spend part of the first week establishing rules and consequences. Involving your students in the process will help them to follow them. You may offer a class party at the end of the year or quarter if they behave.
Finally be consistently at church from the beginning. Everyone goes on a vacation, and travels, but if you are teaching you should try not to miss more than four or five times during the year. This is especially true if you are teaching Junior Primary and Sunbeams. These kids really need the consistency of a teacher who is there each week. Try not to miss the entire first month of the year.