Though there are many things that I love about my job, one of my most favorite things about teaching fourth grade is the developmental level of my students. In my experience, fourth graders are some of the best possible kids to teach. Generally, nine and ten-year-olds are at the wonderful place in life where they still find their teacher’s humor enjoyable (and not in a “this-lady-is-so-uncool-I-can’t-help-but-laugh” sort of way) and yet also are pretty independent. This is the year where they really begin to wrestle with information on a deeper level and think for themselves.
Because of the unique developmental stage of my students, I find it very rewarding to teach the boys and girls in my class about the Lord and His word. Fourth grade Bible lessons at North Shore Christian require deep thinking, historical and cultural discussions, and scripture memorization. Also, lessons include application to a student’s everyday life.
We have been moving through a series of lessons about David’s life and have again and again seen how the hand of God was on him. He defeated the giant Goliath, he was protected from King Saul (and this guy was persistent in seeking out David to kill him), and was incredibly successful in battle! Because David continually turned to God and gave Him the glory, God remained near to David. A difficult time in David’s life was when he got caught up in a cycle of sin and the prophet Nathan was sent by God. God spoke to David and convicted him of wrongdoing through a parable that Nathan told. The fourth graders recognized that though David was a good man, he was certainly flawed. However, because he turned to God to seek forgiveness and restoration when he sinned, David remained close to Him until his dying day. A hard lesson to learn, though, as the fourth graders understood, was that there were still consequences to David’s sins. Just as God cleaned David of his sin when he asked, He will also clean us (adults and fourth graders alike) when we ask. However, we must understand that consequences still exist.
See what I mean about deeper thinking? These are some wonderful and weighty subjects to grasp (and this is just one example!) We aren’t in the business of leaving out the tough stuff when it comes to teaching our students about God’s word and His truths. Certainly, we approach each lesson with care and appropriate gentleness but these fourth graders are really thinking… and individuals who think deeply and wrestle with wonderful (and sometimes hard) truths are exactly the people who should be representing Christ!
Kimberlee Thorburn has been teaching 4th grade on the Lynn Campus for the past 6 years.