I’ve just done two teachers trainings for the volunteers, preparing for the new church year and fall start-up season. This is my sixth time around this process, and as I got ready for the training I couldn’t help thinking back to the first time I ever did this.
Because of the timing of starting up as a brand-new DRE, I was only 2 weeks into the job when I had to train my teachers. I had no idea how to run a teachers training! I was OK fumbling through myself as a teacher, but to try and tell others how to do it – gulp!
Things feel a lot different now. I have a better idea of what I want the volunteers to know, and I’ve developed a powerpoint and manual that I just tweak and add to each year.
In my own training to become a teacher, mentor teachers told me that the first few years as a teacher would be the hardest. You’re making everything up from scratch in those first years, and will be just a step or two ahead of your own prep work. After a few years, you can start to reuse the lesson plans and materials you’ve developed, and it will get easier.
The same is true for DRE’s. The first year, I couldn’t even think about doing anything too ambitious – it took all my time just to prep for the basics. The next year, I was able to repeat things, and improve them. A year after that I was able to add new projects, new programs, and take on new endeavors, such as the Credentialing program.
And yet, that first year was so exciting.
So, for anyone feeling overwhelmed by anything new: it will get better. But don’t forget to enjoy the stage you are in. These days may feel long (and they will pass), but they are also a beautiful stage in their own right. Enjoy them, while simultaneously knowing that this too shall pass.