As a multi-campus director I get to attend our three campuses and help out in a number of different children’s environments. This past Sunday I was at our Browns Bridge Campus.
The sun chandelier at the main entrance
Happy flowers down the hallway
As I was hanging out in the hallway of Waumba Land with Tracy Stonecheck (Waumba Land Director), it became obvious that I would be helping out in preschool!
It was Mother’s Day and the weather was beautiful and families just kept pouring in. Our rooms were filling up and closing due to maximum capacities in several age groups.
Story of Creation Tree
Here are a few things that I learned yesterday:
The attitude of the leader is the attitude of the entire environment.
As the people started pouring into the Waumba Land hallway, it became obvious that this could be a stressful Sunday morning. We knew we were going to reach capacity in several rooms and it never feels good to move kids from their normal rooms or to turn people away.
I watched our Waumba Land leadership team approach this challenge with genuine excitement! There were big smiles on their faces! They took the initiative to go ahead and solve any potential problems and to personally assist parents.
Their attitude was contagious and instead of feeling stressed or overwhelmed – the entire team of staff and volunteers seemed excited!
Room temperature matters.
I was volunteering in a classroom of toddlers. There were somewhere around 20 babies in the room. It was a little warm.
It didn’t personally bother me too much, but I noticed that it really bothered a few of the volunteers. Made everyone feel a little uncomfortable and caused a little unnecessary stress.
It’s an easy problem to solve and we solved it quickly. But it was a good reminder to me that small things, like the temperature of the room, really contribute to the overall success of the day.
Hands-on experience is the best teacher.
Every new volunteer who wants to join our team has to go through an apprenticing process. There was an apprenticing volunteer in the classroom where I was serving on Sunday.
It was such a great reminder that there are some things about how we care for and teach children that couldn’t be taught in an orientation. Experience is the best teacher.
I watched the leaders in the room explain time again the little nuances of their systems for everything from changing diapers to when to page a parent from the service.
There is no replacement for real experience and personal training from a volunteer who is doing it every Sunday.
It’s difficult to teach 20 toddlers (12-18 months) in a structured way.
I believe that young children are sponges and have the greatest capacity to learn. I believe with all of my heart that it is our responsibility to teach children about God.
On Sunday, in a room full of 20 toddlers, it took one volunteer an hour to change every diaper in the room. Every one of us had a “crier” in our arms most of the service. This is reality!
I did play ball, read books, stack blocks, and wrap-up babies. I did all of these things while singing fun songs about God.
Do you know what the most important thing we all did that made the greatest impression of our Heavenly Father? We met their needs. We comforted them. We loved them.
Don’t underestimate the power of what you DO when you are teaching young toddlers. It’s much more important than the curriculum you teach.
That’s what I learned this week!