I've been teaching Sunday School for four years now. I joined my church in early 2009, when I was going through one of the biggest trials of my life. I was stressed and depressed and coming to terms with the fact that I couldn't get back on track alone.
During the new members meeting, it was suggested that every one join a ministry, that we should all serve one another. I chose children's church. I was given the choice between grade school kids and 2-3 year olds. I didn't hesitate to take the little people. It felt great to think that I could help these little people learn about God, even though they were at an age where having a lot of structure was asking for a lot. I didn't realize that these babies that I was going to "teach" were going to have such an impact in my life.
My first class took it easy on me. Only 7 kids, all mostly calm, all in that cute "I want to help" , "I'm so cute" phase. Full of cuddles. Of course it wasn't always like that, but even on "bad" days they lifted me. I was forced to check my negative feelings at the door, because even though I was only with them for a couple of hours, they deserved better than that. They inspired me to do better. They forced me to smile, to relax, to enjoy life. They helped teach me toddler patience (which is way different than the patience needed for adults) which is coming in quite handy now with Ladybug.
The crazy thing is now, even though I've been doing it for four years, it seems like I just started.
Things have changed a bit, and now my class has 3-4 year olds. Yesterday, when I walked into my class room, it was almost as if I was seeing things for the first time. Instead of the little people who had just turned two, there were these "big" kids in my room. Big kids who can cite bible verses and can sit through an entire lesson. "Big" kids who I can remember when they were just a baby bump. Yesterday, it hit me, how much I've grown with them. How they're going to move on to the next class, but some of what they experienced with me will linger. I finally realized how much they've helped me and how I'm a better person because of them. They bless me more than they'll ever know, and I'm thankful to be able serve them.