When I first graduated college, I taught Kindergarten. For four years I taught kids their letters and numbers, tied plenty of shoes, and laughed frequently with 5 and 6 year olds. One of my favorite things about the Kindergarten and 1st grade phase is how honest kids are, and how funny they can be. If you’ve ben lucky enough to work with this age group you know what I mean. For those who don’t, here are a few examples…
“Miss McClelland, we have cows at my house…we used to have pigs but we ate them.”
Student: “Miss McClelland I know how to spell be right back…BRB”
Student: “I like your hair.”
Student: “I like all colors of gray.”
Not only do Kindergarten and 1st graders hold a special place in my heart, but they are special to our ministry. They make us laugh, make us cry, and remind us to let our guard down and have fun. Kids in this phase have an average of 676 weeks until graduation, so we want to leverage the time we spend with them on Sunday mornings. The challenge for volunteers working with kids might be knowing how to engage or interact with these small people. Here are some things to consider…
- They thrive on routine. Kindergarten & 1st graders want to know what’s going to happen. You can help them by showing them the picture schedule hanging in your classroom, telling them about the activity, or introducing them to the workshop teacher.
- They love to play. Invite them to put a puzzle together, read a book, or build with Legos.
- They love to learn. Join a kid in this phase by teaching them something new. They would love to learn a new game, a new joke, or how to spell a word.
- They want your attention. Ask them about what they are drawing, have them tell you about a vacation they took or a movie they saw, or thank them for a great morning.
- They love you. Kindergarten & 1st graders are the best at giving hugs and rarely turn down piggy-back rides.
Just like Kindergarten and 1st graders are special, so are the volunteers who work with them week in and week out. From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you. Thank you for passing out Z-Bars, for laughing at bad jokes, for tying shoes, for wiping tears, and for high fives. Thank you for being consistent, trustworthy people who are making an impact in the phase that these kids are in. After all it’s just a phase…so don’t miss it.