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.
- 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.