Thursday, February 5, 2009

Regular reflection brings regular learning

One of the benefits of having regular cycles of consultation, action and reflection is that this pattern enables us to assess the effectiveness of our approaches and to make adjustments. Take a look at this list of insights gained from Los Angeles, CA (A) about core activities, teaching teams, and frequent and regular reflection—all coming from the friends’ experiences in the past three months.

Children’s class teachers and animators of junior youth groups should meet together both before and after they conduct these activities. They need to meet to pray and consult before starting, and then after they have finished it is beneficial to come together again to reflect on their experiences.

It is very important for children’s class teachers to develop a strong relationship with the parents of the students. These relationships are the surest foundation for the progress of the classes. . . .

Firesides and devotional gatherings can be intimate events and even “one-on-one”.

It is important to cater to people's strengths; therefore, we need to put each person where they are most effective and comfortable serving.

In every cycle, each team raises a fresh human resource from an interested parent or youth. One approach that has been effective in this regard is to invite the parents to attend the class in order to see the activities and content and approve the materials being taught.

One-on-one calls to tutors made a big difference in encouraging them to attend the tutor reflection gathering.

Having four people per teaching team is an effective way of establishing new teams each cycle, because the experienced teachers are able to accompany the new volunteers during their initial efforts.

Some people have been hesitant to get involved because they feel overwhelmed with all the needs in the community. But they are happy to participate if they can be assigned one specific task to do on a specific day.

Collective teaching teams need to meet at the end of each month. In these meetings the teaching teams, along with the children’s class teachers, can have the chance to share their experiences, successes and challenges, as well as consult and reflect on their goals. This is also the perfect time to practice their presentation skills. This meeting can happen twice per cycle (in the third month of the cycle is the cluster reflection gathering).

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