Steps for Implementing New Curriculum in a Local Church

Establish the Purposes of Bible Classes

  • In a formative meeting of all people interested, discuss and define the purposes of Bible classes in a local church.
  • Drawing from the discussion and formed by the consensus of the group, state the purposes in writing.
  • Discuss and define how curriculum serves these purposes.

Determine Leadership

  • Designate who will provide leadership for the Bible class work in the local church – a deacon, for example, may be assigned to manage the Bible classes.
  • The leader may investigate curriculum possibilities and show samples to parents and teachers.
  • With the input and ideas of a group, decide a curriculum to be used in the Bible classes and the time of its implementation.
  • Determine how the new Bible class work will be promoted and encouraged.

Have a Workshop

  • A workshop can introduce curriculum and encourage teachers and better teaching.
  • It can motivate and stimulate ideas, making the work of preparing and teaching a collaborative effort.
  • Workshops are available through the Shaping Hearts team and Workshop CDs are available for purchase.

Get to Know the Curriculum

  • Become familiar with the curriculum and how it serves the purposes of Bible classes.
  • Review the curriculum’s scope and sequence. For example, it may be a three year curriculum covering the entire Bible with the material divided into quarters.
  • Learn the curriculum components and how they work together.

Get to Know the Students

  • Make a roster of students who will be in the Bible classes, including their ages and grades in school.
  • Determine the best way to group the students into classes. A typical and workable arrangement is 6 to 24 months, 2s & 3s, PreK, K & 1st grade, 2nd & 3rd grades, and 4th & 5th grades.
  • Designate a classroom for each group.

Form a Pool of Teachers

  • Find teachers who are willing to try the new curriculum and will be dedicated to using it to the fullest extent.
  • Designate teachers for the classes. A workable arrangement is two teachers per class forming a teaching team.
  • Establish a teacher rotation, designating teachers per class for one year. To keep teaching fresh and to avoid burnout, rotate teachers as much as possible.

Encourage Support for Bible Classes

  • Recognize the potential of involving others who may not stand before students to teach.
  • Involve as many people as possible, making Bible classes a work of the entire church.
  • Men may be involved in preparing classrooms and equipping a resource room; women may be involved in preparing and storing materials.

Have Teachers’ Meetings

  • Review the curriculum together, sharing ideas about its components and
  • Decide what will be standardized in the classrooms, such as bulletin boards, time lines, maps, and marker boards. For example, each classroom will have a bulletin board and a time line.
  • Discuss how various components of the curriculum will be used or not used. For example, students will learn memory verses or Bible facts in all classes.
  • Discuss what will be purchased, who will do it, and how items will be made available to teachers. Discuss a procedure for requesting and acquiring additional items as needed.

Construct A Resource Room

  • Designate a room for supplies and for preparing and storing materials.
  • Devise a method of organizing supplies and materials.
  • Furnish the room with needed equipment and storage facilities.
  • Designate people to organize, file, and straighten the resource room.
  • Devise a method for acquiring and replenishing supplies and materials.

Develop the Classrooms or Learning Environments

  • Install items determined to be standard in all classrooms – bulletin boards, time line, etc.
  • Corresponding with the theme of the first quarter’s studies, develop the classroom at students’ level in an engaging way.

Beginning the Curriculum

  • Send letters to parents briefly describing the new study and stating the expectations of students and parents.
  • Discuss with the preacher the possibility of beginning the quarter of study with a sermon on the quarter’s topic.
  • While teaching the present quarter of material, teachers are preparing for the next quarter.

Evaluate What Happens

  • After the first quarter, assemble the teachers to evaluate.
  • Were students excited and engaged about learning? Did they attend regularly and participate?
  • Were parents informed and engaged? How can this be sustained or developed?
  • What is the general “feeling” about the curriculum? What needs to be modified or changed for future quarters?
  • Share ideas about what did and didn’t work, referring to lesson notes from each teacher.