Dear First Unitarian Society Friends in Madison:
It is not often that I come to you directly; maybe once per year, if that. So an email from me suggests a dire need in the world of Children’s Religious Exploration—and that is where we are at with our teacher recruitment for the 2023/24 program year. These last 11 spots are stubbornly staying vacant, and I hope you can help me change that.
Why is it important to fill every spot? Because experience tells us that when we have full teams, 1) teachers have the scheduling flexibility they need for their busy lives, 2) the “work load” feels very manageable, allowing teachers to more fully enjoy their time in the classroom, and 3) happy teachers will return to teach again, allowing our Children’s Religious Exploration program to be more sustainable, and avoiding annual emails like this one!
What do I have to do to be a teacher? The CRE Program staff have all the big things covered. The curriculum is clearly laid out for you and very accessible; the supplies are purchased and delivered to your room; our Dropbox folders are full of all the information you need about your individual kids. Ease for teachers is a high priority for us! So, what does that leave for you?
Coordinating a schedule with your team of three other teachers so that each week, two of you are in the classroom.
One of you will be curriculum lead, facilitating the “meat” of the lesson.
The other will be “community lead,” responsible for leading classroom opening and closing rituals and generally helping with classroom management.
One of you will be responsible for sending out a brief email after class letting parents know what you did. In this way, we allow space for the classroom content to be carried into participants’ homes.
All of you will be responsible for bringing an “open mind… loving heart… and helping hands…,” the very qualities that we encourage our children to have in our weekly opening ritual.
Where are the needs? Mostly on Sunday. We have one teaching spot for Building Bridges on Saturday. The other 10 vacancies are on Sundays and include the following:
Celebrating Me & My World (pre-K)—3 teachers needed
Experiences with the Web of Life (K/1st)—3 teachers needed
Holidays and Holy Days/Moral Tales (2nd/3rd)—1 teacher needed
Bibleodeon (4th/5th)—2 teachers needed
Compass Points (7th)—1 teacher needed
You can read more about each of these classes at our online brochure: https://fusmadison.org/cre/classes/. Of course, I am happy to chat with you about them as well.
Feeling uneasy about what this commitment will actually be like? That’s understandable! It might help to know that 37 of our current 54 teachers are folx who have taught before. They enjoyed it so much that they are back for more—some for the second round of teaching, but others for their 5th, 10th, and even 20th round of teaching! But don’t take my word for it. Please take a listen to veteran teacher Rudy Moore, whose video is included here. Rudy started teaching long before his own children were born and celebrated his 16th year of teaching this past year. I’m also happy to connect you with other teachers if you’d like to ask them directly about their experience.
Intrigued? Persuaded? Unsure? Let’s talk! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Teacher Orientations begin on August 20th, so I’m really hoping to have all these spots filled by then.
In peace and hope,
Leslie Ross Director of Children’s Religious Exploration
Check out this First Unitarian volunteer teacher testimonial - Rudy Moore