Dealing With Teacher Resignations
Resignations are not new to any of us. They come regularly in our volunteer, labor-intensive preschool and children’s ministries. I even had a teacher resign by having her husband call and resign for her! Coupled with the fact that we are often short-handed to begin with, resignations put us even further behind as we try to fill teacher vacancies.
We do others and ourselves a disservice by not following up and finding out what precipitated their decision to quit. When we don’t follow up, we never find out what happened to make them feel they could not fulfill their obligation. Once you know the reason, it can often be remedied for them and others.
When resignations occur, these suggestions below will help:
Listen to the reasons
Teachers rarely give you the “real” reason they are resigning. Keep digging! When they do, listen carefully and objectively. Chances are, if they are experiencing frustration, lack of communication or another problem, others may be experiencing the same thing and are just not willing to talk about it.
Suggest alternative places of service.
Sometimes when we recruit in preschool and children’s ministry, volunteers get the impression that if they don’t feel led to teach, then there are no other ministry opportunities available. Nothing could be further from the truth! Suggest other options to teachers who resign and enlist them for a ministry opportunity that provides a better fit.
Guess what happened to the teacher whose husband called and resigned for her? She teaches a Children’s New Member Class once a quarter. Do you think we needed someone to teach that class? You bet!!