A few years ago we posted a poll question asking Rotation folks the following question:
"Do you include Jr. Highs in your Rotation Model?"
46% said "YES"
In the next post after this one, you can read some of the "comments" left in the survey.
Here's a summary of the subject of Jr. Highs in Rotation:
Over the years, many have discussed older children and young teens "in Rotation." Below is a summary of "what works" and what the challenges are.
Some churches have had success involving 7th and 8th graders in Rotation. Youth like creative learning, and enjoy changing rooms and teachers. But there are challenges (aren't there always with this age group?)
Keys to success include:
1. Making sure your teachers don't treat the Jr. Highs like little kids. It has been suggested that in some churches it's a good idea to have a special teacher assigned to rotate with the Jr. Highs, to facilitate and nurture.
2. Adapting the lessons and activities so that they are "sophisticated" enough for young teens and respect their feelings about personal space, contact, and being judged by peers.
3. Young teens raised with the Workshop Model find it easier to STAY with workshops as Jr. Highs, than do Jr. Highs who are brand new to the Workshop Rotation Model. It's recommended that you "grow into" having Jr. Highs as part of your rotation.
4. Sometime workshops can/should be skipped by the Jr. High group and plan something different from them. Depends on the workshop and activity for that story rotation. You know your kids and their chemistry.
5. Make sure your workshop designs/decor are not too "young." 5th graders tolerate "cute" because they are used to seeing it in elementary school. Jr. Highs tend to want to feel 'older'.
6. Plan special topics and discussion. Young teens have developmental and spiritual needs that young children don't. These special topics/needs can be planned to take place IN PLACE OF certain workshops, or in place of an entire four or five week rotation.
7. Some Rotation churches report using their "youth room" as one of their "workshops" that they rotate into. The use of the youthroom in your schedule of workshops can signal that you have a special speaker, activity, or discussion that's going to take place there.