We hope that this year of teaching inspires and challenges you, and warms your heart. We encourage teachers to use our curriculum flexibly and to supplement with ideas or content that is relevant and appropriate. We also recognize that sometimes teaching can be challenging when behavioral issues or class dynamics interfere with the class realizing its full potential. Our Director of Children’s Religious Education is always available to assist you. However, we want to also make some resources easily accessible to you in case you want to “go the extra mile,” or explore some new strategies. Below is a list of resources and links that may be useful to you during the year. Please let us know any feedback you might have should you use any of these. You can e-mail Leslie Ross here.
Tapestry of Faith
The UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) set out a few years ago to develop new curricula for children and youth that would integrate current understandings of learning processes as well as contemporary ideas about UUism. Tapestry of Faith is a series of programs and resources for all ages that nurture Unitarian Universalist identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love. There are several newly developed curricula for each age group, and they are available on-line for free! Take a look at these wonderful resources here.
There are lots of great resources out there on community building, and creating strong classroom communities is a priority here at FUS. There are many wonderful resources online. Here are a few:
For some very rudimentary information on UU faith development, click here. For more in-depth and generalized description of faith development, James Fowler is often the expert cited. You can read about his theories at http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/fowler.htm or at http://www.usefulcharts.com/psychology/james-fowler-stages-of-faith.html.
Fortunately the past few decades have helped educators to move beyond cookie-cutter models of education and to better understand that children have unique styles of learning. An ideal classroom session will offer something for everyone—the tactile learners, the auditory learners, the spatial learners, and so on. Learn more about learning styles and how you might adapt your lessons here: http://www.education.com/topic/different-learning-styles/.
Positive Guidance and Discipline Strategies
For some good suggestions for working with younger children (first grade and younger), click here. For ideas on behavior management of children ages 5 and up, you can read several articles at http://www.education.com/topic/discipline/. These are geared toward parents but have useful applications for your roles as well.
Terrific Tips for Topnotch Teachers
Three tips on effective and engaging communication with children can be found here.