All the planning, implementation, and celebrations of Holy Week and Easter Sunday are now a joyful memory, and those of you working in a congregation have hopefully had a quiet week of reflection and rest. But there is no rest for the weary . . . it’s time to begin evaluating this past year and begin planning for the next program year.
A checklist for the coming weeks:
- Collect feedback from volunteer leaders and teachers about what worked and what needs improvement. Plan how you will be recognizing and giving thanks to all those who have given their time and talents this past academic year.
- Begin the discernment process for calling new teachers and volunteers for next year.
- Evaluate the programs and the resources you have been using. Do they need tweaking or refreshment? Poll participants, including children and youth, about what they have found memorable and life-giving over the past nine months.
- Gather a group of parents, teachers, and other leaders together to discuss the curricula you have been using. What has worked? What hasn’t?
- From your evaluation processes, what will your goals be for next year?
- Discern what curricula and program resources can support your goals with a team that represents the ministries and cohorts of your congregation.
Some tools to help in your discernment:
- Education Planning Calendar 2015-2016 (New in a Word document!) – a template for planning the coming year (June 2015 – August 2016). Since this is so popular, I’m making it available in a format that you can add your own content and tweak to fit your needs.
- EvaluatingCurriculum – tools to evaluate where you have been, where you want to go, and how to review materials using an independent evaluation tool
- ChoosingYourCurriculum – a process for a team to use in choosing a curricular resource for a particular ministry (children, youth, or adult)
- October2014AdultCurriculumChart *- a sampling of adult curricular materials
- 2015 Youth Curriculum Chart – a sampling of resources used in most congregations for youth
- 2015 Child Curriculum Chart – children’s (PreK-5th Grade) curricula from mainline denominational publishers (Although a year old, not much has changed in this area as of this writing.)
- PlanningAdultFormationPrograms – ideas for what you may like to offer adults for formation
These are just some places to get you thinking and organized. Tap into other resources, like Forma (or your own denominational organization) or your colleague groups. Other ideas for planning, evaluating, and getting organized can be found in The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook. It might even make a handy gift to give to your volunteer teachers to support them in their ministry.
*a new charts of adult curricular overviews will be posted later later this spring.