Teaching Sunday school can be a very rewarding experience. Usually, people become aware of the need for Sunday school teachers through their church. Some churches hand out Church Happenings, at the end of the church service or send a Church newsletter through the mail, which tells the congregation what is going on within the church. Often, the needs for Sunday school teachers and other volunteers and help will be listed in these newsletter type packets.
To volunteer as a Sunday school teacher, you should probably just call the phone number you see in the newsletter where it talks about the need for Sunday school teachers. Often, the Sunday school teacher will ask for a reference, and if you know other Sunday school teachers or elders in the church, that is helpful. They also usually want you to have some experience with children, whether it be at daycare, babysitting, internships at elementary schools, or even classes in childhood development.
Usually, though, hands-on experience is better than classes. However, this is only a volunteering experience, and there might not be a need for too much experience. Also, chances are, you will only be teaching Sunday school for very short intervals of time every week (and maybe not even every week)- most likely, it will just be for an hour or so, while the parents are in their church service.
Another thing to keep in mind is to figure out what age you want to teach. If you choose the nursery, then you will really not get to teach much, you will mainly be taking care of babies. If you choose an adult Sunday school, then, obviously, you do not need to worry about experience with children. There usually are also opportunities with 3’s and 4’s, and then another room with kindergarten-2nd grade or so. So, it is up to you to pick what age you feel more comfortable with.
Once you have the position of Sunday school teacher, there are a few more things you need to do. Since this is a volunteering experience, the church usually makes it very self-explanatory for you to teach the class. They usually will supply you with a lesson plan book, and you will usually not have to come up with your own lesson plan; the lesson plans will usually already be all laid out for you in the lesson plan book. So, if you just look over the lesson plan the night before you teach, that will probably be a good idea.
You can, however, add your own touches to the lesson plan. If you really wanted to, and have the time, you could do an arts and crafts project with the children according to the lesson of the day. For example, for the lesson “God makes the daytime,” you could easily make anything that goes along with daytime.
You could just ask the kids to draw a daytime scene with the sunshine out– even something as simple as that can mean a lot to young children. It depends on how old your Sunday schoolers are. If they are a little older, you may be able to do something more complex with them, such as getting yellow construction paper out, cutting a circle out of it for the base of the sun, and then getting orange construction paper out and cutting about eight straight bars out of the paper for the sun’s rays, and then pasting all of this onto a blue piece of paper for the sky.
It all depends on the children’s ages and developmental stages. It is usually going to be your call to decide where your class is at, and to decide how much time you have for these activities.
Usually, you will also read a short story about God. These stories are usually from the Bible, but made into VERY simplistic terms for children. A story can be told in as short as 3-5 minutes for younger kids (3’s and 4’s), and maybe 8-10 minutes for older kids (K-2nd)(they have very short attention spans).
Often, you will also sing a song or two. This usually works well because most kids love music, and they love singing. It will take them a while to catch onto the words. Choose a short song, and preferably one with a lot of repeated words. Have the children speak the words slowly a few times before you even try singing it with them.
You may want to have the children speak the words about 3 times before you try to sing it with them, and then you can sing it to them by yourself another 1 or 2 times before you try to have them sing it. Try to practice it every week for a few weeks. They will eventually catch on, but it will take time. Older kids will obviously catch on a lot sooner than younger kids.
If you feel the calling to be a Sunday school teacher, go for it! It can be such a rewarding service and experience for both you and the kids!