Adaptability: When Plan A Doesn’t Work

boy child childhood class
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I’ve been teaching children since 1970 (school, Sunday School, children’s church). I should be a master teacher with wanna-be teachers sitting at my feet gleaning from my years of experience. For good reason, that’s not the case. I have a tendency to do stuff the hard way. For example, I offer you a lesson learned from the what-was-I-thinking and I-really-knew-better kind of experience.

I taught children’s church this past Sunday although it wasn’t my usual week. Since lots of folks were gone the class was smaller than normal.

Great. Small class. What can go wrong?

The answer is everything can and did go wrong. And I have no one to blame except myself.

Even though Kindergarten through 6th grades are grouped together, a lot of what I do is geared toward the older children. Fortunately, they’re extremely helpful in taking the younger ones “under their wings.” With their help, we make the wide range in ages work for us.

On Sunday, about 75% of my students were in kindergarten and first grades. I knew the lesson wouldn’t work because most of the older children were absent. Plan A was a mistake. I knew that, and yet, proceeded with it anyway.

Surprise! Surprise! (Not) The kiddos were a challenge. I knew from the start these little ones weren’t able to go where I wanted them to go. But I plodded on while chaos ensued.

Adaptability. I should’ve changed class up a bit but, instead, stubbornly clung to Plan A. There were several things I could’ve done differently; however, I simply chose the harder way. As a result, the children were miserable and I felt frustrated.

Adaptability. If I would have paused for a moment asking God for new direction, there might have been a different outcome. He’d gladly have guided me.

Adaptability. One of the first applications a teacher needs to grab a hold of. It can help them keep their sanity and bring peace into the classroom. Learn from my “do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do” method. Otherwise, you too might be in for a long day.