It was a Sunday like any other. Since my husband had recently volunteered to help with children’s church, the kids ministry director thought it best that he sit in on one of my lessons, just to get used to the flow of things. I lovingly welcomed him to take a seat and watch a true “Sunday School pro” in action.
After the service, I waited for the accolades, but they never came. Instead I was bombarded with a host of questions that would change the face of my teaching from that day forward. “You talked a lot,” he said. “And what about the boy who seemed disengaged?” The interrogation ensued. With each question, it became more evident to me that while I came equipped with my lesson, I had left my knowledge of learning styles at the door.
A Minority Learning Style
As an educator, I’ve grown quite familiar with the various learning styles. There are three in particular that most learning style inventories assess: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Most of us Bible class teachers normally default to teaching from a visual and auditory perspective. This is for good reason. Of the three types of learning styles, about 95 percent of people make up visual and auditory learning. But what about the other 5 percent? What about the kinesthetic learners? “What about the boy who seemed disengaged?”
As easy as it may be to ignore or dismiss this kinesthetic minority group of learners in the name of comfort, to do so would certainly classify us as those who do not minister to “the least of these,” as outlined in the Word of God. The truth is, if we’re going to take the time out to teach children the Bible, the least we can do is to go the extra mile or two to ensure that we are the very best at it, seeking to meet the spiritual needs of every student entrusted to our care. Though these learners only make up a small number of people, they are still represented in just about every classroom and it is our God given duty to make sure they are afforded the same opportunities to learn as our visual and auditory learners receive.
So what does this underrepresented learning style mean to the Sunday School teacher? It means adding some hands on learning to that worksheet. It means playing a game in an attempt to demonstrate a spiritual truth. It means incorporating some role play of the day’s memory verse. It means risking some noise for the sake of authentic learning. Most importantly though, It means experiencing the blessings of pouring your all out in the classroom, knowing that you gave ALL the students in your classroom your very best. And that, My Friends, is what it’s all about.
We invite you to see a list of all of Madalyn’s blog posts on Sunday School Zone.