October 2016 - Teachers Needed

posted Oct 3, 2016, 8:46 AM by Lee Church

I have really enjoyed reconnecting with families after their summer break. There are lots of stories to share of summer adventures and our students are eager to spend time with their Lee Church friends once again. Right away they expressed their desire to continue our study of the Bible through active, hands-on classes.

As a Sunday school teacher, my fall would begin with a stack of curriculum packets that would provide me with several weeks of activities and worksheets. These booklets helped shape the lessons I would cover with my students. Preparing for classes was quite easy, even for those who filled in at the last minute as substitute teachers on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, the preassembled curriculum packets rarely covered the same scripture that Pastor Gail was examining with the rest of the congregation in the sanctuary. Sheila Bennion and Pastor Gail searched for curriculum that followed the lectionary, but they did not find any quality programs. At that time, it was decided to continue using the same curriculum that was functional and familiar.

After I was hired as CE Director, the Christian Education committee informed me that we would no longer purchase curriculum for our Sunday school classes. Instead we would prepare lessons that followed the lectionary ourselves. I saw this as an opportunity to provide a vital shared experience between families, our youth and our congregation every Sunday morning. Courtney Dionne and I found many free resources available online that we could use to put lessons together for our Sunday school classes. We both enjoyed discovering new approaches to teaching our students about faith. When Courtney cut back her CE commitment to care for her growing family, I fully assumed the responsibility of preparing the weekly curriculum. While I miss Courtney’s involvement and contributions, the curriculum I now arrange has become a critical contribution that strengthens our Christian Education program. 
Over the past 2 years of preparing these lessons, our classes have transformed. Each week I spend several hours researching a variety of free resources online and select activities related to our lectionary scripture and theme, being sure to address the development range from preschool through high school for our students. Each Wednesday I email the compilation to our teaching staff. They choose from the activities that fit their teaching styles and the needs of their students to personalize their 30-50 minute Sunday lessons. Though the system is quite different from our previous approach, teachers seem to quickly adapt to this format and soon become confident about customizing their classrooms as they experience what works well with their students. Our teachers feel more comfortable with their classwork and students truly look forward to what their teachers have ready for them each week.

For many Christians, Sunday school is the first opportunity to learn about and explore their faith. I think Lee Church has been providing a great experience for our youth. Their enthusiasm during classes and their fondness for their teachers is clear to me each week. I would like us to take the next steps in our program to enrich the lives of our youngest parishioners. Our middle and high school students are ready to learn more about becoming active members of Lee Church. We need more adults to help them learn about what it is like to serve God, our community and beyond. Your knowledge of our church’s missions will help guide them to find their own roles in the work of our church and our faith. Our younger students understand the lessons of scripture best by creating with their hands and moving with their bodies. I’ll provide frameworks, games, activities, supplies, and guidance. 

Please email me about experience, skills, and talents you can share with our kids. Let’s honor their commitment with our support.

Jill Paré
Director of Christian Education