The Reverend Georgene “Gigi” Conner recently rediscovered this article she had written while the Director of Parish Life Programs at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for Episcopal Teacher over thirty years ago. She is currently the Vicar of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, New York. It is shared here with her permission.
What is a Church School Teacher?
A Church School Teacher is a person who is non-union; who receives no pay other than a sense of satisfaction and a few hugs; who is not eligible for tenure; a person who manages to make it to church even on the snowiest of days and continues to show up after Easter.
A Church School Teacher is a person who rarely gets to go to Coffee Hour; who gives a little extra by baking cookies for a bake sale or cooking pancakes on a Sunday morning.
A Church School Teacher is a person who doesn’t mind sitting on the church floor to hear a Children’s Homily; who can play “open, shut them” and “itsy bitsy spider” for an hour with two years olds and still retain a sense of humor.
A Church School Teacher is a person who rocks our babies while we attend worship; who is willing to sleep in a sleeping bag on the church dining room floor with 30 teenagers in the confirmation class.
A Church School Teacher is a person who manages to dodge paper airplanes while teaching about love and patience; who has learned that there is something likeable in every child; who is willing to give up some personal time to prepare a lesson; and last, and most important, a person who is willing to be an instrument of God’s will in helping to continue the teachings of Christ.
A Church School Teacher is a volunteer . . . a Christian volunteer: an ordinary person with an extraordinary sense of commitment to living the Christian life with joy . . . shared joy. And who is this extraordinary person?
The next time you are in church, look around you. You might be sitting next to a Church School Teacher. You might be sitting next to a person who works full-time outside of the home, or a homemaker with young children, or a grandparent, or a single person, or a person with a disability. You see, a Church School Teacher can be anyone . . . even you!
Teachers . . . ordinary people . . . “Sunday Saints” . . . “Journey Guides” . . . however your church calls them there is one fact which remains clear.
no matter how wonderful the clergy are
no matter how good the curriculum is
no matter how energetic or creative the DRE can be
Without Church School Teachers there could be no Church School!