By Bethany Pitman
Editor’s note: Today’s entry is the second of a two-part blog on building relationships in ministry; this one focuses on relationships in the classroom—for Sunday school or a traditional classroom. Need value-priced incentives for your students? CTA has a Children’s Prizes Mystery Pack and a Discipleship Mystery Pack for children.
Think about the person who motivated you the most—the person who inspired you to go above and beyond—the person you never wanted to let down. What did this person do to make you feel valuable? As fall approaches and summer winds down, there is an air of excitement as teachers kick off a fresh school year. Whether you are teaching Sunday school or are a traditional classroom teacher, by developing positive relationships with students and parents, you have a unique opportunity to accomplish more and cultivate an affirmed and unified class.
In His ministry, Jesus consistently took time to affirm people. Building positive relationships requires an investment of time in the beginning, but the payout far outweighs the investment. Below are some easy ways to build positive relationships with parents and students:
- In the first week of school, ask parents to write you an email highlighting a couple of their child’s greatest strengths.
- Send an email to all parents asking if they have prayer requests that you can add to your personal prayer list—and follow up on those requests.
- Take student prayer requests at the beginning of class or invite them to email you their personal requests—and follow up on the requests.
- Within the first six weeks of school, send home an email about each student highlighting something positive you have noticed. Below is an email template if you would like a starting point.
I’m really enjoying having (student name) in class this year! I have noticed that (s)he definitely has a strength in (insert skill/attribute)! Thank you for all you do to support (student name) at home. I look forward to partnering with you this year as we work together to help (student name) find success in (enter class name)!