Sunday, June 8, 2008

Teaching Vacation Bible School

This year I was presented with the opportunity to
teach a class during our church's annual Vacation Bible School. It was held this past week, Monday through Friday for 3 hours plus lunch time.

I was the lead teacher for the 4 & 5 year old class. While that last sentence may have sent chills down your spine let me assure you that was not the case for me. I have been teaching this age group for a year in Children's church. I looked forward to being with them for a week.

Because I had never had the chance to participate in VBS since I've been attending our church I only knew about it from what I had heard. Let me tell you ministering the gospel to an average of 115 children (that's the entire VBS not just my class) is a logistical dragon that was tamed nicely by this year's first time director and her staff.

Moving about 5 groups of children, whose ages ranged from 2 to 12 years of age, to 7 different activities during the session was a wonderful logistical juggling act that for the most part worked well all week long. The lunch time when every one was in the fellowship hall at the same time was a little chaotic. However overall everyone did a great job to keep things moving.

Now let me tell you about my group of youngsters. I had an average of 15 children each day. They were the most well behaved group of children I have ever taught. We had a couple skinned knees and one little boy got an upset stomach after getting over heated during recreation. There were a couple of little girls who cried for their mom every day but overall things went smooth.

The place where my children really shined was in the classroom during Bible Lesson time. For me that 45 to 60 minutes of each day was a special time. I had the honor of teaching those wonderful little people myself. One of the best things was the way the boys & girls responded to the use of my new turtle and owl puppets in the course of the lesson. I used Eugene, the owl, to teach the children the week's memory verse and Cecil, the turtle, to ask review questions.

Also present in our "beach hut" was our resident decorative monkey named Oscar. He helped me teach the children the point of each day's lesson. He hung around the dry erase board on the wall. Each day the children would "call" him by singing a song to a calypso beat and alternately touching their hand to the opposite elbow. They sang these words" Once there was a monkey named Oscar. Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!

A group picture of my class is at the top of this post. As you can see I had a couple of adult helpers. I couldn't have managed the children without their help. I give them my thanks.

On Sunday night the VBS closing ceremonies were held at our church. My class and all the other children sang 3 songs for their parents, grand parents, families, and friends. The teachers talked about the highlights of their classes for the week and gave accolades to all the staff and supporters. Afterwards everyone went down to the church fellowship hall for supper of hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and cookies. About 300 people were served.

Although it physically and emotionally really tired me out each day I really enjoyed teaching VBS for the first time. I have made several suggestions on how to make VBS even better next year. I only pray that I will have the opportunity to participate again in 2009.

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