Driven by the quest to build a stronger Sunday School for the Ho district, District Evangelist William Parku took some time to have a chat with Sister Benedicta, one of the Sunday School teachers for the Ho Central Congregation. She highlighted interesting facts and observations in her assignment, to help improve the teaching and learning experience.
How long have been Teaching Sunday?
Sister Benedicta: I have been teaching Sunday School for the past 17 years.
What do you enjoy the most about Sunday School?
Sister Benedicta: How the bible stories are related to our everyday life, participation of the Children during lessons, and the Role play by the Sunday School and the Songs of the Children makes it enjoyable.
How do you manage difficult children?
Sister Benedicta: In many cases, parents are asked to accompany the child during lessons. Teachers sometimes give out little candies and during divine services these children are asked to sit by their parents.
Are the Church manuals easy to follow?
Sister Benedicta: Yes. However, the manual should have more illustrations.
Are the children able to appreciate the lessons?
Sister Benedicta: The children appreciate the lessons, and this is shown in their answers to questions, their contributions during lessons and their willingness to partake in role plays. They easily demonstrate that they have understood the lesson.
What is your biggest challenge in teaching Sunday School?
Sister Benedicta: On Challenges, teaching different group ages with the same manual and lateness of Children to Sunday School. In a typical Sunday School class, you have to manage a 6 year-old whilst also teaching a 10 year-old. Sometimes that can draw back the class a bit.
Are there any changes you like to see in handling Sunday School?
Sister Benedicta: Yes. I think the author(s) should include additional illustrations in the next edition and role plays which will make the lesson more enjoyable and attractive to children. That can also help sustain the attention span and help the children assimilate the lessons better.
Also, we must have separate teaching manuals for the age groups in the class. For example, teaching a 6 year-old is different from teaching a 7 year-old, likewise a 10 year-old. At presently, we are using the same teaching manual for now.
Additionally, a calendar for Children’s Services or Children’s Day activities dates should be indicated in the Manual. This will give teachers time to prepare very well for the occasion.
Is there any advice you want to give parents based on your observation of Sunday School?
Sister Benedicta: Parents should show keen interest in their children. They must help them with some activity assigned to them during lesson, and they must prepare them early for Sunday school.
What are some of your memorable days with Sunday School Children?
Sister Benedicta: When Sunday School Children are preforming during festive seasons like Christmas, Easter and Children’s Day activities.
Did you attend Sunday School? If yes, what are some major differences you see between your time and now?
Sister Benedicta: Oh yes, I did! And there are some differences. During our time, the teaching methods and manuals were done according to the child’s educational level. For example, children in primary one had a manual prepared for their level. There was pre-Sunday school and confirmation students were allowed to attend Sunday school.