Photo taken by Angela Maze Photography
Kenley was been in my Pre-K class last year and now she is in my Kindergarten class. So, we have been friends for a long time (according to her life experience so far). When we first met, she seemed a bit shy, but she got over that pretty quick. She has always been dependable with her willingness to help and give instruction to others (including me).
Kenley is a born leader and I am looking forward to seeing what God leads through her someday. It will be amazing. For now, the challenge is sure and the guiding is important. I’m sure you understand. My most unusual challenge is that she calls me Miss Mark. We have talked about it and she is much better now. It only slips a little when things are very important and she needs my attention. My only thought is the fact she has never had a mister for a teacher until now. She isn’t the first child to do this. She is the child who does it the most. It’s cute- real cute.
I’m convinced we need more misters teaching our children. I hope you agree.
Men offer a positive Christian role model that many children are lacking. With many children coming from single-parent homes the need for a positive male role model is greater than ever. Sunday School department directors often say that the mere presence of a man helps in guiding behavior. For the children who have Christian men in their life like Kinley’s dad, having a man teach in the classroom will only reinforce building spiritual foundations and relationships that enable preschoolers to trust Jesus later. Here are a few tips to consider when enlisting men.
Men most often:
- Enjoy a challenge – Activity without engagement leads to burnout. When enlisting teachers, explain the routine and uniqueness of teaching in a children’s classroom. Therefore men can correctly engage in the teaching process.
- Want to know they make a difference – There are definitely tangible rewards like a hug, a smile, and “I love you, Mr. Mark.” Be sure to communicate the positive impact they are making in the classroom and with the children. Men are more likely to invite others to “come and see” what is happening.
- Accept responsibility – “Don’t dumb it down!” As you recruit teachers, communicate the responsibilities and expectations. This allows you the opportunity to explain how to teach children and answer questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstanding.
- Prefer to hear feedback – Coaching teachers will reinforce correct teaching among children. Men know they are making a positive contribution when they receive recognition.
- Explore risk taking – Men will take risks in order to explore their talents. Allowing teachers to be responsible for certain tasks will give ownership to the teaching process. Assigning special tasks such as group time activities, greeting or telling the Bible story will allow men to explore new challenges. Respond with feedback anytime a teacher takes a risk outside his routine responsibilities.
- Need to feel valued – When men feel they are valued they will most often reciprocate that feeling. Let your teachers know you appreciate their commitment to teaching children with you and what a positive difference they make.
- Listen for future thinking – Talk about your hopes and dreams. Deacons and other men in leadership who teach children will become advocates for the needs of children’s ministry when considering budgets, buildings and ministry needs.
Men who have served in children’s classrooms for years said they were tremendously grateful that someone asked them to teach children. You could bless the life of a man deeply by inviting him to teach children. Accept the challenge to give Christian male role models to your children, and bless their spiritually formative years.