The Barrier of the Classroom Environment, part 2

Last week's Tip for Teachers might appear to suggest that having the adult class in some other room will avoid creating classroom environment barriers for the unchurched. But such a conclusion would be a serious mistake. Any classroom location may result in potential barriers for the unchurched. Here are some questions you should ask to determine if your classroom environment results in unnecessary barriers: Does your classroom, education wing, and church have appropriate signage for newcomers to know where to go? Is your classroom filled with years of accumulated junk? Does it sport faded posters, etc.? Is there adequate "breathing room" in your class? If using tables, is it easy for a new person to navigate to an empty seat? Are there more than enough chairs, in order to accomodate visitors? Are there weird or suspicious smells in your classroom or in the hall leading to your classroom? 04: The Barrier of the Lesson Format (183 words)
The typical Sunday school class has developed years of tradition, but this tradition is not necessarily shared between our churches, and the unchurched person will not at all know what to expect. Some classes read the scripture in unison. Some read verse by verse, each person taking one or two at a time. Some classes expect the person reading the scripture to be ready to make a comment on it; some do not. For the new person who is already conspicuous by simply being present, not knowing the established procedure can be painfully embarrassing.
The new person may also not realize the lessons are dated. They will be unfamiliar with the lesson divisions that you merely assume everyone understands. Also, note that the page numbers and content location differs from Adult Teacher's Insights, the Adult Lesson, to leaflet. If you do not take care to know the various locations in the student book and leaflet to which you are referring - or if that content is not present in one of those books - the result can be confusing and frustrating for the new person.

2016-09-20T09:00:00+00:00September 20th, 2016|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: |0 Comments

The Barrier of the Classroom Environment, part 1

Your cIassroom can be a huge turn-off for visitors to your Sunday school class... for a wide variety of reasons. Many churches have the adult Sunday school class in the church sanctuary. While this is convenient, it is not the most ideal. Sitting in a straight line of pews reinforces the idea of the teacher-as-a-lecturer. While this may be acceptable to people in their 70s and 80s, those who are younger, especially young adults, prefer a more discussion-oriented, teacher-as-a-facilitator model. In a sanctuary, the people may prefer to sit in the same seats they will sit for church, resulting in a scattered group, giving a feeling of emptiness and possibly difficulty hearing one another. The sanctuary as a classroom also struggles with various interruptions: people arriving early for church, children's classes dismissing early, sound crew or musicians preparing for worship, etc.
If your classroom is the sanctuary, what can you do to minimize these potential barriers to the visitor?

2016-09-13T09:00:00+00:00September 13th, 2016|Categories: Teacher Helps|Tags: |0 Comments
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