A Day in the Life of a HeartKidz Teacher: Part One
There are 168 hours in a week. Most of us use this time for school, work, family, friends, and ourselves. But in church, there is a group of incredible people who spend many of their nights and weekends serving others. And these people are none other than our HeartKidz Teachers!
To find out what life is like as a children’s church teacher, I followed some of them around for a day as they served on HeartKidz. But did you know that our teachers go above and beyond their weekend commitments by planning the services days, sometimes weeks in advance?
On the weekends, an average of 40 volunteers serve as HeartKidz teachers. Every Wednesday, however, the teachers who are in charge of the weekend’s events gather in church to run through the games and the service for Saturday. Some of our teachers come from a long day at school, others from an intense day at work; yet nothing can stop them from running through each and every activity — even if it means shooting each other with Nerf guns, blindfolded, in their office attire. It’s not everyday you see grown adults doing this in church, but our teachers will do whatever it takes to make sure the games are fun for the kids!
Even the teachers who aren’t involved in the Wednesday meetings spend their weekdays out and about. On any given night, you can find teachers visiting the children at their homes just to play and catch up with them. In fact, an average of 25 visitations happen throughout the week!
A typical home visit looks something like this: as his parents gently tell him to settle down, a kid waits excitedly at his doorstep for his favourite teacher to arrive. He wonders what game the teachers will bring to his house today. Soon, the doorbell rings, and to his delight, it’s his teachers at the door! One of them approaches him with a smile on his face and “Pie Face” in his hands! The kid erupts in giggles as he and his teachers take turns smashing each other’s faces with whipped cream. After about 30 minutes, they take a break and the teachers ask the kid how he’s doing in school. The kid quickly talks about his homework, then begins sharing about the very strict discipline master as well as his classmates’ funny antics.
As the conversation deepens, the teachers connect to the kid personally by encouraging him and teaching him life principles. Before they leave, they read him a story from the Bible. The kid says goodbye to them a little sadly, but lights up when they remind him that they will see him that weekend! Even though he gets to see his teachers almost every Saturday, he feels so happy that they love him enough to visit him on a school night too!
As Saturday draws nearer, the service events coordinator sends the rundown to all the teachers serving that weekend. The rundown for the service that day is extremely detailed. Not only is every segment clearly listed out in chronological order with information such as how long it will last and who will be involved. The teachers are required to memorise each and every detail before reporting for duty that Saturday. There’s also a wet weather plan for every HeartKidz service — which they commit to memory as well!
On Friday night, the teachers serving that weekend hold a two-hour phone conference to discuss and share updates about Saturday’s rundown. By the time the call ends, it is close to midnight, and the teachers are PUMPED. The next day will be busy, even unpredictable (as most days spent with 200 children are!). But one thing’s for sure: they can go to sleep with their hearts full, and their spirits high, knowing that the kids are in for a life-changing weekend.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run a HeartKidz service? Stay tuned for part 2 of A Day in the Life of a HeartKidz Teacher!