I can vividly remember the incident even though it happened years ago. I had just finished preparing for Sunday’s lesson. It involved teaching just one basic truth to my first grade class: God is eternal. The visuals, props, and lesson notes were ready. The Scriptures being taught were all carefully marked in my Bible. I had rehearsed the lesson several times. I was confident – I’ve got this! And then I was completely undone as I reread the key verse for the lesson:
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:2).
I tried to get my mind around God being from “everlasting to everlasting.” I couldn’t. I was simply blown away by this reality. The one true God had no beginning and will have no end. There is no way to completely grasp this. He is utterly unique and set apart from all creation. I no longer felt like “I’ve got this!” And that was the greatest gift the Lord graciously gave to me in my lesson preparation: I was gripped by His truth. Teaching could now flow from a heart of humble worship instead of a pride-filled self-confidence.
Teaching the next generation the glorious deeds of the LORD and the wonders He has done is both an awesome privilege and a grave responsibility. These are glorious and weighty matters. The sort of teaching that effectively communicates these realities is not merely done by conveying information and facts for young minds to absorb. Effective teaching will also reflect the life-changing power of God’s Word as we, the teachers, are called to personally respond to it.
John Piper has a great word in this regard for teachers and parents,
Teachers and parents who do not exult over God in their teaching will not bring about exultation in God. Dry, unemotional, indifferent teaching about God — whether at home or at church — is a half-truth, at best. It says one thing about God and portrays another thing. It is inconsistent. It says that God is great, but teaches as if God is not great.
Psalm 145:4 shows us another way: “One generation shall praise Your works to another.” Let praises carry the truth to the next generation, because the aim of truth is praise. The aim of education is exultation. So let education model exultation in the way it is done.
That long ago Sunday, I went into the classroom prepared with my lesson. All that tangible, nitty-gritty preparation was important and the lesson flowed smoothly. But most importantly, my heart was prepared, and that changed the atmosphere in the room — truth was communicated with a sense of awe and wonder at the matchless majesty of God. I hope and pray that by God’s grace the children were drawn up with me into that awe and wonder.
 John Piper, "One Generation Shall Praise Your Works to Another," https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/one-generation-shall-praise-your-works-to-another. For more spiritual and practical help in preparing to teach kindergarten and elementary age children, see our new Core Training Series resource: Preparing and Teaching a Lesson.This resource will include the following topics:
- Instructing the minds of children with the Bible
- The role of “active” learning in the classroom
- Teaching from a heart of praise
- The importance of prayer in teaching
- General classroom issues
- How to prepare a teach a lesson