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Teachers and Summer Break

It is summertime in the northern hemisphere, and for many of us, that means a break in the Sunday Church School routine. During this break, let us take time to be refreshed! Having a break gives us time to rest and to evaluate our work. How are we doing? What is working with our students? What is not? What other ideas are out there? What might we want to try that could improve the quality of our students’ education in the Sunday Church School classroom?

Here are a few resources that may help us to evaluate and recharge. (Note: not all of these are Orthodox. Each of them does, however, contain ideas that can help to refresh us and be ready for the next Sunday Church School year.) 

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Ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut or just need to breathe a little? This page offers 25 hands-on ideas that people in Christian ministry can do to reset their creative juices.

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Here are 10 suggestions for rest/refreshment during the break from the school year. Aimed at school teachers, many of these work for Sunday Church School teachers, as well. 

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Need a bit of a refresher? You’re not alone! Many teachers need to take some time to refresh themselves so they can continue to encourage and inspire others. Here are some ideas of ways to refresh yourself.

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Laughter is good medicine, and can help to refresh your soul. If you find yourself in need of a little laughter, read this article. Do you know any of these students? 

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“Whether you hold a relaxed version of your regular Sunday school program or discontinue classes until fall, read on for nine refreshing ideas to help you nurture kids in the summer months too!” 

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You may want to begin evaluating your year with something like this printable document. It asks many questions that can help you think about how things went in your classroom. 

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Has your parish thought through (and made public) the details on how your Sunday Church School works? Some parents and even visitors may find information like this helpful, whether on a printed handout in the narthex, or online. Check out this parish’s example for inspiration.

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Check out Orthodox resource lists like this one to see if there is anything out there that you were not aware of which could help you be a better teacher. 

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Do you want to become a better educator? You may find both refreshment and challenge from Praxis Magazine. The Greek Archdiocese publishes this magazine three times a year, and posts many articles and even entire back issues online. (For example, Volume 14, Issue 1, “Teaching Strategies,” is available online in its entirety and you can read it immediately!) 

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Sophie Koulomzin, an Orthodox author and former professor on Orthodox education, tells us, "You can teach only that which you have made your own…" This article challenges Sunday Church School teachers to evaluate their own embracing of the Orthodox Christian Faith, and reflects on how that will influence our students. 

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Take a little time this summer to rethink your classroom organization. Check out our other blogs for ideas of ways to organize your Sunday Church School room.

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Have you heard of using a binder method for organizing your students’ work? Here’s one suggestion of how to do so.

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Teachers of teens may want to see if any part of this mindset and/or teaching “style” would help their students better connect to the Faith.