SpiritJam was created because I couldn't find one single person to teach the 4-6th grade Sunday School class. Yes, we had some dedicated teachers, "but not enough." And the numbers of these valiant souls had been dwindling over the past 5 years. I've learned many tricks of recruiting volunteers since 1983 and none were working.
Add that to the story about a colleague DRE getting a call from a volunteer teacher on a Saturday night saying, "I'll be hung over tomorrow morning and can't teach, sorry!"
The "duty" generation is passing on. The new generations are following their passions. It is not their passion to give up a much needed Sunday morning to background checks, attachment disorders, health issues, classroom management techniques, budget woes and discontinuous attendance.
The "mommy volunteer" is going away.
For me, it equals paid teachers.
I believe the days of volunteer teachers are over. Volunteer mom teachers hark back to pre-feminist days when women with talents volunteered and created superb structures for hospitals, churches, schools, etc.
But this is 2014. Women's talents are not marginalized, they are part of the working society.
The remedy is a vibrant program led by a faculty who know the children, provide consistent leadership, as well as outreach through social media to the "Nones" (No-church,80 percent) and "SbnR's" (Spiritual but not Religious).
The faculty provides the groundwork (classroom management, knowledge of the children) so that folks can share their passions. We've had youth leaders, board members, storytellers and scientists join us to share. The faculty offer about 85% of the sessions and back-up the guest leaders the rest of the time.
There's my Rant #47!