WELCOME tim’s tots VOLUNTEERS!

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR KIDS! YOUR HEART FOR CHILDREN AND YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS MINISTRY ARE GOING TO HAVE A LASTING IMPACT FOR MANY GENERATIONS TO COME.

We wanted to make a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about volunteering with Tim’s Tots. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to have a successful volunteer experience with Tim’s Tots.

updates

Based on the information discussed at the last volunteer meeting, the following updates have been made. For more details, please scroll down and read the section for New Teachers and Assistants to understand the big picture of why we made these changes.

  • Sunday Huddles: Please come to Room 311 at 11:00 sharp for a huddle on the weeks that you’re volunteering. During the 5-10 minute huddle, we will pray together, encourage one another and share some wisdom from Fr. Matthew the Poor’s book, If you Love Me. If you did not receive this book at the Volunteer Meeting, you can pick up your copy from Room 118 on Sunday.

  • K2-K3: Pray, after Clean-Up, during this time pray Our Father slowly with the class and make sure you start and end with the sign of the cross

  • K4-K5: Pray & Sing, after Clean-Up, during this time pray Our Father slowly with the class and make sure you start and end with the sign of the cross. After prayer, sing the Trisagion hymn together. The words can be found here.

  • K4-K5: Bathroom, we will take a group bathroom break right after Movie and Music and hopefully this will alleviate the frequent bathroom breaks for each child. Only take those kids who need to go. The others will stay for Picture Passes, which is a review of the movie.

  • Children 18 months-23 months must be accompanied by a parent/grandparent/family member throughout the duration of Sunday School. We want kids to LOVE coming to Sunday School and to have a wonderful first impression so that they can't wait to come every week. We've noticed that with our little ones, 18-23 months, this has been a difficult transition to separate from parents. We still would love them to continue coming but because we want Sunday School to be a great experience for them for the long haul, we ask that a parent, grandparent, aunt, etc. stay with them in Sunday School to help ease this transition. Once they turn 2, we hope that they will have established a positive connection with Sunday School and then parents no longer have to attend with them.

  • Monthly Newsletter: Parents will take home a monthly newsletter called Son Times Jr. to use as a tool to encourage daily Bible reading and prayer and to share what we’re learning in Sunday School. Please pass this out at dismissal.

  • Please wear your STSA Lanyard with Name Badge each Sunday you are volunteering so parents know who is a volunteer. It creates a sense of safety for all parents to know who’s who. If you don’t have one, please pick it up from Room 118 on Sunday.

  • For safety reasons, only the Lead Teacher should be at the door for dismissal. Assistants should be supervising children away from the door.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? EMAIL

Lori Mitry, the Tim’s Tots Coach

Heidi Guirguis, the Tim’s Tots Coordinator

Sandra Mattar, Director of Children and Youth

How do I block my schedule? How do I find a replacement?

How to Block off Dates Video

How to Find a Replacement Video

How do I connect with kids and volunteers?

download the lead. app

As a Sunday School Teacher, you are on the front lines of building meaningful relationships with your kids and teens. Use the LEAD. app to keep your class connected.

Find out which of your kids has a birthday coming up and send a card or call them.

Send messages to your class about upcoming events.

Check the attendance to see if someone was missing from class and call them to check-up on them.

For more details, check out this GUIDE and let me know if you have any questions.


music to play as kids enter & during playtime

 

Milestones, 2019-2020

Practice these Milestones with your kids each and every Sunday right after Clean-Up.

K2-K3: Sign of the Cross + The Lord’s Prayer

K4-K5: Trisagion Hymn Words and Audio

September curriculum

>>SEPTEMBER 8 IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW SUNDAY SCHOOL YEAR!

Turtle Time: jesus invites me! (Chapter 1)

**UPDATE: No need to worry about sound modules or MP3 players anymore. You can now play the Turtle Time Message from your phone just when the kids tickle his tummy. The Turtle Time message for the month is below. If it’s not loud enough from your phone, you can pair your phone with the acorn bluetooth speaker (A020) and tuck the acorn into Tim’s pouch.

Recording

Main Lesson: A Roaring Rescue (Daniel and the lions den)

Movie and Music Video

All Curriculum Resources

Props by Week

September 8, Week 1: K2-K3: Prop A & K4-K5: Prop D

September 15, Week 2: K2-K3: Prop B &K4-K5: Prop A

September 22, Week 3: K2-K3: Prop C & K4-K5: Prop B

September 29, Week 4: K2-K3: Prop D & K4-K5: Prop C

october curriculum

Dates: October 6, 13, 20, 27

Turtle Time: TIme to wash up (chapter 2)

Recording

Main Lesson: The brave and beautiful queen

Movie and Music Video

All Curriculum Resources

Props by Week

Week 1: K2-K3: Prop A & K4-K5: Prop D

Week 2: K2-K3: Prop B &K4-K5: Prop A

Week 3: K2-K3: Prop C & K4-K5: Prop B

Week 4: K2-K3: Prop D & K4-K5: Prop C

november curriculum

Dates: November 3, 10, 17, 24

Turtle Time

Recording

Main Lesson: the dreamer

Movie and Music Video

All Curriculum Resources

Props by Week

Week 1: K2-K3: Prop A & K4-K5: Prop D

Week 2: K2-K3: Prop B &K4-K5: Prop A

Week 3: K2-K3: Prop C & K4-K5: Prop B

Week 4: K2-K3: Prop D & K4-K5: Prop C

December curriculum

Dates: december 8, 15, January 5

No Sunday School: 12/1 (Thanksgiving Weekend), 12/22 and 12/29 (GMU closed)

Turtle Time

Recording

Main Lesson: The first christmas: always with us

Movie and Music Video

All Curriculum Resources

Props by Week

Week 1: K2-K3: Prop A & K4-K5: Prop D

Week 2: K2-K3: Prop B &K4-K5: Prop A

Week 3: K2-K3: Prop C & K4-K5: Prop B


new teachers and assistants start here

Welcome to Tim's Tots!  We're so glad you're volunteering with us.  In order to give you a better understanding of the big picture of what we’re doing we want to start with . . .

Why?

The mission of STSA is to bring an ancient faith to a modern world. More specifically, we exist to transform lives in the DC metro area through an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ founded upon the life and teachings of the Orthodox faith. How do we, in the Division of Children & Youth, translate this mission statement to long-term goals for our children and teens? Based on STSA’s mission statement, our long-term goals for our kids is for them to. . .

  1. be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ

  2. experience the beauty and relevance of the Orthodox church &

  3. be fully engaged in the life of the church

How?

How do we help them achieve these three long-term goals from the time they are toddlers to the time they graduate high school? First, we have to look at what is age-appropriate for each phase of a child’s life. That’s why we came up with Phase Guides—a guide for each year in a child’s life that helps parents and volunteers understand how best to teach and communicate spiritual principles to their child at this phase. Here are the phase guides for each age:

Age 2 Age 3 Age 4 Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade

set short-term goals or Milestones

Now that we have a better understanding of what’s age-appropriate, we can set short-term goals that kids can work toward at each phase in their spiritual development. All of these short-term goals, which we call milestones, point back to the long-term goals of wanting each child to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, experience the beauty and relevance of the Orthodox church and be fully integrated into the life of the church before they graduate and leave home. We have each class work on one milestone each year. Since most of our classes cover a 2-year span (K2-K3, K4-K5, 1st-2nd, etc.) we will alternate milestones so that a new short-term goal is achieved each year. In 2019-2020, the milestones for each class are . . .

K2-K3: Sign of the Cross + The Lord’s Prayer

K4-K5: Trisagion Hymn Words and Audio

1st-2nd: Books of the Bible List and Song

3rd-4th: Psalm 1

5th-6th: Prayer of Thanksgiving

7th-12th: The Wave Challenge

We also plan to make a big deal of a child’s spiritual growth and celebrate their progress at the end of the year with a church-wide celebration!

Foster relationships among volunteers & kids and kids with each other

Kids tend to care more about what you have to say when they know you care about them. Your teaching will only be impactful if kids and teens feel loved by you. That’s why we stress the importance of relationship building time in all of our Division’s programs and events.

Play time with games and toys before the Sunday School lesson or eating before The Wave is a great opportunity to connect with kids in a fun, relaxed environment and ask them about their week.

We’d love to organize more playdates/events/leisure groups when volunteers and kids can gather and build relationships. Saturday Night Life is a great way for teens to connect with each other and for volunteers to connect with teens. We hope to have more events for Kids at The Well Saturdays before Vespers to serve the same purpose as Saturday Night Life. If you’re interested in helping with those events, please let me know.

Using the LEAD. App, every volunteer should have access to their kids names, attendance information and contact information so you can easily call/text/email parents to check on them. You can even send birthday messages!

Foster relationships among volunteers

We can get further faster when we work together. However, if we don’t even know each other, then how can we work together. That’s why we’re having Sunday morning huddles at 11:00. This is when we gather for 5-10 minutes, share prayer requests, pray together and share some encouragement.

Tim’s Tots (K2-K5) will be in Room 311

Kids at The Well (1st-6th Grades) will be in Room 313

The Wave (7th-12th Grades) will be just outside Room 118 in the small hallway near the back stairwell

Help parents win

Parents are the greatest influencers on a child’s life. As volunteers, we only get about 40 hours per year to influence our kids. Parents, however, get an average of 3,000 hours per year to make an impact. So let’s empower the child’s greatest influencers with tools and resources.

Monthly newsletter: Son Times Jr. for Tim’s Tots and Son Times for Kids at The Well

STSA.Church/parents

Parent Gatherings

Parent Learning Groups

make sunday the Best day of their week!

We want kids to LOVE coming to church on Sunday! That’s why we believe that Sunday School should be a fun, engaging place where kids grow in the love and knowledge of God. The Sunday School Curriculum we use for Tim’s Tots has two main components:

Bible App for Kids Curriculum: Main lesson with video

Turtle Time: Orthodox storybook component

In order to get you ready to serve our little ones, we ask that you watch all the training videos below. 

Bible App for Kids Curriculum Training Videos: 3 part series (1 hour for all 3 parts)

Turtle Time Training Video (10 minutes)

UPDATE: No need to worry about sound modules or MP3 players anymore. You can now play the Turtle Time Message from your phone just when the kids tickle his tummy. All Turtle Time messages are on this page, STSA.Church/timstots. If it’s not loud enough from your phone, you can pair your phone with the acorn bluetooth speaker (A020) and tuck the acorn in Tim’s pouch.

consider the details

We want our kids and families to know that we have been praying for them, preparing for them and excited for their arrival each time they come to church on Sunday. That’s why our Sunday School program should reflect how much we care about our kids. Even in a rented facility where we set up and take down each and every week, we can still show that we care by paying attention to the details. Here are some logistical details that we want you to take note of.

K2-K3 meets in Room 310

K4-K5 meets in Room 311

Set-up & Clean-Up Instructions are found on the front cover of the curriculum folder.

How do I know what I’m suppose to be doing all throughout the lesson? Check out these ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES including the description of Lead Teacher and Assistant roles for each part of the lesson.

Huddle 11:00

  • ALL TEACHERS AND ASSISTANTS are to meet in Room 311 at 11:00 SHARP on the days they are serving for a quick Huddle.

  • This is a time where we will pray for the kids, share a nugget of encouragement from the book we are all reading together, If You Love Me by Fr. Matthew the Poor, and touch base on any logistics.

Set-Up 11:10-11:20

  • Lead Teacher: Play music, get video ready and prepare any needed materials (props, Adventure guides, etc.) to start the lesson

  • Assistants: Welcome kids as they arrive and play with them

Play 11:20-11:30

  • Lead Teacher & Assistants: Play with the kids

Clean Up 11:30

Pray/Pray & Sing 11:35-11:40

  • K2-K3: Pray, during this time pray Our Father slowly with the class and make sure you start and end with the sign of the cross

  • K4-K5: Pray & Sing, during this time pray Our Father slowly with the class and make sure you start and end with the sign of the cross. After prayer, sing the Trisagion hymn together.  The words can be found here.

Turtle Time 11:40-11:50

Lead Teacher: Read story of the month to the class. Each time the book cues you to Tickle the Turtle’s Tummy, give the stuffed turtle to a student and ask them to tickle his tummy to hear the Take Home Message

Prop Talk 12:00-12:05

  • Lead Teacher: Use Prop Talk Leader Guide and get Prop from K4-K5 bin, Orange bag in K4-K5 bin (see sign on bag and Prop Talk Leader Guide to know which prop to use in each class each week)

  • Lead Teacher: Kids sit with Small Groups while one leader teaches everyone using the prop of the week and the Prop Talk Leader Guide

Movie & Music, Snacks 12:05-12:30

  • Assistant: Distributes snack and water to kids as they are seated

  • Lead Teacher: Play the Bible Adventure

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Encourage kids to respond to video cues as video plays

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Kids remain in Small Groups to watch the video

Bathroom Break for K4-K5 12:30-12:40 (only for those kids who need to go)

Picture Passes 12:30-12:35

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Kids sit with Small Groups while one leader teaches everyone

  • Lead Teacher: Use Picture Passes and Adventure Bag to review that week’s questions from the back of each Picture Pass

Story Time & Adventure Books 12:35-12:45

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Use Small Group Leader Guide and Story Cards

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Follow the Small Group Leader Guide to lead their Small Groups individually.

  • Lead Teacher and Assistants: Give each child an Adventure Book to complete using stickers and crayons found in the Story Time Supply Bag

  • Lead Teacher: When the first parent arrives, ask your closest assistant to watch your kids while you man the door. Give each parent the Monthly Newsletter and say something positive about the child to their parents at pick up. Assistants are to supervise the children in the classroom away from the door during dismissal. Only one person, the lead teacher, is to be at the door dismissing children.