FUN Academy teachers are dedicated. Here are the "teaching guidelines" that our Academy has
Each person must be committed to:
Teaching or team teaching EACH session
We do not have "helpers" but rather "team teachers." This helps us to avoid the burnout that typically happens when teaching.
Each mom should feel that they are a part of a team, and should have some help with preparing/presenting their classes. They
should also have the comfort of a partner in an emergency/absence. Ask fellow teachers how you can assist the mom who is graciously
teaching the class. Teaching responsibilities are distributed evenly throughout the year.
At least one parent MUST attend with your children. This also applies to adult children who are driving.
Teachers may NOT send their children with another teacher OR with a family member other than a parent. Grandparents
and other family members are welcome to attend coop WITH you but not in lieu of you.
If you are unable to attend class you are responsible for finding a replacement teacher/team teacher when absent.
(Remember, don’t call Trish. Also, don’t simply post to the loop and then forget about
it. It’s YOUR job to see that you find someone who says they’ll cover your class, regardless of circumstances.)
The teacher directory is available to ALL through the yahoogroups page. Use it. If absence is a repeating issue
Tricia will contact you to initiate further discussion.
Checking your email REGULARLY
This is the way we communicate and often make decisions. As a result, we have never had to waste time on phone calls, which
is NOT an option. It also enables us to have a general consensus at all times. We are ALL busy so please read all information
that is sent down the loop. :) Thank you for your continued consideration of one another through this effort. Also, even when
on summer break there may be ideas/suggestions/issues over the summer for the following year. Please continue to check mail
throughout the summer. Thanks!!
Set up and break down of classrooms
Coming in late for set up, during announcements or during the first class would be a burden on your Academy family. This
falls under consideration of "is this a good time for my family to be in the Academy" with the necessary active participation.
Staying till all is put away is another way of honoring your FUN family. Thank you for continuing to fulfill this requirement.
Completing forms on time & handing in fees on time
Remember, if fees and paperwork are not rec’d by the deadline we cannot guarantee your registration. Those who do
not hand in their forms/fees by the deadlines will go onto the waiting list - NO EXCEPTIONS. Sorry. New families should know
that the deadlines come down the loop through reminders - keep an eye out for them - and during teacher meetings.
Grade Group Facts
-Each spring Tricia establishes the grade groups for the following year with consideration of teacher ratio/class
size (balanced ratio).
-Students are placed in their grade groups based on age, NOT based on parent preference, class offerings, OR student ability.
We call these groupings "age/grade groups" and in this way we follow typical school guidelines.
- If necessary, classes may be established by combining two or even three grades together to make a grade group. For example:
1st and 2nd together, 6th - 8th together, etc. The grade groupings can be found
on the database of the yahoogroup page for Academy members.
-If we have a specific grade that has just one or two children, we may ask the parents for their preference IF that grade
is able to be combined with either the class before OR the class after (ie: 3rd graders could go with either the
2nd graders OR the 4th graders on that years chart).
-An attempt is made to group the grades so that the classes are balanced. If one group is too full and another
has space, a combination will be made to balance out the student ratio.
- Teachers need to understand that the grade groups are adjusted EACH year and your child will NOT always be with
the same students/friends if different grades are combined the following year. In fact, it’s more likely that the groups
WILL change from year to year.
Final note about grade groups:
By having "set" grade groups we are able to provide the kids a peer group that is age based. We can also provide teachers
a student list that doesn't change (dependable planning). We avoid the need to assess or discuss social/academic abilities
of individual students. And lastly, in coops where parents (students?) pick the grade group, there is difficulty in establishing
curriculum/classes because of the constant flux (students want to be with friends, parents want children bumped up one session,
left back the next, etc) This is a bone of contention in many coops and breaks down the cohesiveness of the group, not to
mention that it can lead to burnout for the leadership when dealing with parents/teachers with this issue.
Attending the yearly planning meeting
This one meeting helps to ensure a smooth start in the fall. It also gives everyone a chance to share suggestions
for meeting dates next year, including class ideas. Without the meeting we would end up spending time answering questions
individually, instead of going over it one time. The meeting date is listed on the database for the current year - please
mark your calendars. If you miss the meeting due to vacation, sickness or other unchangeable situations you are able to keep
your registration IF: you have paid your fees in full, have handed in all forms, and have gone to the database to plug
in all your required teaching spots on the session charts BEFORE the meeting date.
If you are personally struggling in this area here are some thoughts for your consideration. Our goal has always been to
NOT have people coming in and out of the Academy. We want to start and finish with the same families each year,
so we certainly want ALL our families to STAY. If you are finding that repeated sickness, lots of traveling, or life’s
overall busyness is making the Academy commitment a challenge, please prayerfully consider if this is still a good time for
you to be in the school. This is a question that only you can answer. (Sometimes God uses little signs to tell us to slow
down and we should listen to them.) We want to continue to ensure, as far as possible, a fair distribution of teaching efforts
and participation, regardless of who is "busy." So if you feel that the commitment level isn't working for you and your family
(maybe you are going to be away for extended periods of time OR your life is just too busy to make a commitment to an Academy
right now, you don’t have time to teach/co-teach, etc. etc....),if you feel you fit into any of these categories or
others, please prayerfully consider stepping aside and making room for someone else on the waiting list. We will miss you
but we will respect you as well for making a difficult decision and blessing someone else. So let us know ASAP if you
feel you fall into this category!
Class charts and teaching assignments
The database holds each class schedule for the entire year. You must plug in your "required teaching spots"
for the entire year when requested to do so on the loop. You may want to seek input from the other parents
when deciding on your class title.
Also, it is your job to "plug in" on each chart for each hour of every session, even when you are not the formal
teacher (helper/team teacher capacity). Again, everyone has to be scheduled for each hour of every chart. If teachers
are missing from the class chart we will assign them to teach a specific class. It’s much better if you choose where
you want to teach rather then us having to assign. Thanks for your consideration.
United and Unique
We have a statement of faith that unites us as Christians, even though our families are comprised from various Christian
denominational backgrounds. By choosing to focus on the important ways we are alike and not focusing on the subtle ways we
may be different, we continue to provide a great Christian atmosphere for growing and learning together without compromise.
It might sound simple but we all know how special it is to have an Academy like ours.
Thank you all for contributing your gifts and talents to each other! We continue to be a very special "family" and we keep
making great memories! Let’s pray for the continued sharing of the joyful Christian fellowship we have all come to love
as we enter into each school year.
Warmest hugs to you all;