Teaching preschoolers is a joy. Working with others to teach preschoolers helps to lighten the load for planning and carrying out the plans. Working together as a team will allow you to focus on giving your Mission Friends group the best missions experiences possible.
How many leaders are needed to lead your Mission Friends classroom?
Look at your leader needs based on suggested learner to leader ratios. Check out this chart: Mission Friends Leadership. For safety reasons, each class should have at least two adults. Enlist leaders based on the size of your group.
Will all leaders “co-lead” or will there be clearly defined leaders and assistants?
Think of your Mission Friends leaders as a team. Evaluate your Mission Friends team. Are all leaders (volunteers, helpers, and assistants) comfortable with leading? Which adults would prefer being a helper rather than a leader? Which adults are comfortable with leading occasionally? If you have more than one Mission Friends group, organize your team so each age group has both leaders and assistants or teams of co-leaders. Plan ahead for how you will handle substitutes for absent leaders.
Will you have separate Group Time and Activities leaders?
One way of dividing responsibilities for planning and leading Mission Friends sessions is for one leader to plan Group Time and another leader to plan Activities. If you will have separate leaders for Group Time and Activities, look at the strengths of each person who will be leading. Evaluate them using these kinds of questions:
- Is this person better at telling stories or with hands-on activities?
- If this person does a good job leading hands-on activities, is she better with art, games, blocks, books, nature, or guiding preschoolers to role-play?
- Occasionally, an activity involves food or cooking. Is this person comfortable with food-related activities?
- Does this person have special interests that will complement specific activities? Allow her to plan and lead those activities.
- Storytellers will do a great job leading Group Time. Ask if leaders with this interest are comfortable with activities that involve reading a book or telling a story about a place or a missionary.
Will leaders alternate leading both Group Time and Activities?
If your Mission Friends team will consist of leaders who are comfortable leading either Group Time or Activities, decide how you will set up your teaching schedule. Use these questions as a guide:
- Will leaders alternate between leading Group Time and Activities? If so, will they alternate weekly, switch monthly or quarterly, or swap places on a different schedule?
- Will leaders alternate between being the leader and being the assistant? What will be the criteria for trading between leading and assisting?
- Will co-leaders stay with either Group Time or Activities indefinitely, or will they decide on how often to trade leadership responsibilities?
In some cases, the decision for which person should lead Group Time and which should lead Activities may depend on the types of activities for a certain week. For example, someone might not be comfortable with helping with certain art activities or with a food-related activity.
Will leaders trade off taking the lead for the Helping Others activity?
Both Threes and Fours and Kindergartners have suggested Helping Others activities. Consider your resources when choosing which Helping Others activity to do with preschoolers.
Depending on the activity, work with your team to decide which leaders would be the best fit to lead the Helping Others for each age group.
Move Forward as a Team
With open conversation and careful planning, leaders can serve and lead in the areas where they feel the most comfortable and equipped. Encourage your leaders to work together as you make plans to guide preschoolers to be on mission for Jesus!
by Suzanne Krein