I began teaching Sunday school when I was fourteen, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom. I was raised studying the Bible and continue to read it and ponder God’s teachings, and because of my classroom experience, I’ve always tried to think of how to explain God’s teachings to different age levels. In college, I took education courses, including curriculum, and graduated with a degree in elementary education and a certificate in early childhood. Not too long after that, I was recruited to write Sunday school curriculum by a professor at the University of Hawaii. He was the one who really taught me how to write curriculum, although what we worked on together never saw the light of day.
Because I was actively teaching, I wrote for myself. I knew what I wanted for the children: something that would engage them, relate to their world (age-appropriate), and enrich their spirits with solid biblical teaching that could carry them into their own growing relationship with God. I also knew what I wanted for myself as a teacher: a curriculum that would be clear, flexible, fun to teach, and re-usable. In other words, once I’ve taught through a curriculum, I have all the materials and the practice to use it again the next year with a different group of kids. I know I’ll do a better job next time. The first year is the hardest, because the teacher is learning how to teach it. But after that, working with the curriculum should be easier.
For this reason all my curricula are non-dated. In other words, teachers can use them for as many years as they wish and not have to purchase something new every year. This is economical. I’ve used curricula from different companies over the years, and I hate to see a church spend big bucks purchasing lots of fancy material, much of which is left on the shelves, “old” after a year or so only because the curriculum company has come out with their new line of products. I know they have to do this to make money, but as a teacher, I’m interested in being economical. I recommend one teacher guide (about $15) per teacher per quarter–no materials kits to purchase. All take-home pages are included in the guide for photocopying. There are, of course, materials recommended for most activities, but these are items like paper, glue, cotton balls, etc., readily available at discount stores.
I also write my curricula with the new teacher in mind. I hope that after teaching each quarter of my curriculum, a teacher will be better trained to teach again.
Meanwhile, happy teaching!