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How Jonah helped me become a Sunday School Teacher

by Sarena Griffin

As long as I can remember I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.  I always saw my role as a teacher in a traditional classroom.  I would work with children from all backgrounds and teach little people how to read and to write and foster curiosity.  I was in my role as a classroom teacher for seven years when I had the opportunity to teach at St. Luke’s.

I found myself excited to teach in a new environment not bogged down by test scores and data.  I would have the opportunity actually to teach, sing and play.  Things I was never able to do in more traditional settings.  As I geared up to start the school year a presence overwhelmed me.  I know nothing about theology.

I can talk for hours about the best instructional practices to teach vocabulary, or how to foster a love for reading, or better yet, ways to redirect negative student behaviors into positives.  I had no idea how to teach the mystery of Easter or the best ways to pray.  I did not even know if I was praying correctly, myself.  As I prepared for my first day of Sunday School, I spent hours researching Jonah and the Fish, making sure I was pronouncing words correctly and that I knew the story.  I walked into the Sunday School Classroom with my co-teacher and sat down to sing, “All Are Welcome.”  The smiles and joy that permeated the classroom were contagious.  We acted out the mystery of Jonah and the fish and one friend who is a little shy even allowed me to help him with his bible.

It was at that moment I realized that my love for faith formation and children makes Sunday School a beautiful place to hone my craft as an educator.  I understood that the pastoral leadership would support my knowledge of theology, and there is no one right way to pray, but I was needed to bring excitement and joy to the children of St. Luke’s.

This September we will be kicking off a new school year.  I am excited to see how tall our friends have grown.  We will meet new friends and teachers this school year and reimagine how children can be a part of our greater congregation as whole full members.  The work we do in our Children’s Ministry is vital to the growth of our congregation.  Teaching and Learning in faith will continue to help our children navigate the world outside of our church. It is the work that God has called me to do.

Sunday School begins on Sunday, September 9 at 10:00

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