Mom to the Left

I'm a mom who tends to live just to the "left" of most of the people around me here in Indiana.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

No good deed goes unpunished

I am on the RE Committee for our congregation with the title "Curriculum Associate". My official (volunteer!) responsibilities are to work with the DRE to review and adapt (or write) curriculum for our Pre-K thru Senior High RE program. There is another RE Associate who joined us this past year to make a curriculum committee of three people.

This past February or so, the DRE bought a new hands-on nature curriculum for us to use for this summer's programming. It's a basic experiential curriculum which we thought would be perfect to go along with our congregation's new status as a Green Sanctuary candidate. In planning for the summer, we accounted for a couple of Spirit Circles (a.k.a. children's chapel) and an end of the summer picnic. That left us with 6 remaining lessons to plan. The three of us were to each plan and write up two lessons.

Well, I'll make a long story somewhat short. One of the lessons I am in charge of is the one for today. The DRE had to leave for GA last week and there were still some loose ends to finish up with the woman who is supposed to be the lead teacher for the day. I began emailing that teacher to let her know about some activities she could do and ask if she needed anything from me. This was *as the DRE asked me to do*. This woman works for the local parks department (who is working with us all summer to supplement the program) and has some of her own materials. I was supposed to make sure she had enough hands-on activities to fill in the 60 minute class time. She basically said she had some things she could use and it would probably be enough. I said good, I was just checking and I gave her the email address of the RE Associate who would be on duty this week if there was anything else she should need. Keep in mind, this all seems pretty standard procedure to me.

So I get this snarky email response that "wasn't I aware" that she taught this same lesson last summer? (As if to say, duh, you stupid woman, why are you bothering me?) Huh? I distinctly remember the meeting last winter when the DRE gave me the brand-new curriculum (still with the spine in tact having never been opened) and she told me she may be able to get the parks people to help out. I, being the proverbial doormat, responded back to this email with an apology. No, I didn't realize she'd taught this before. I was made to believe that I was supposed to help this woman out so she would be comfortable leading the lesson in the DRE's absence and I get this snark in return? Jeez-oh-pete!

I have been thinking about stepping back from my role as Curriculum Associate for a while now and this is just another nail on the coffin. I feel like I'm spinning in all directions and this is the thanks I get for volunteering my time. UGH!

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4 Comments:

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger ms. kitty said…

    I don't think it's being a doormat to respond from the high road. Yes, she's being rude but you are refusing to escalate the situation by responding in kind. One never knows all the factors that go into another person's response. It probably has nothing to do with you. So rest in the assurance that you acted properly with the best information you had at the time. Ya dun good, kid.

     
  • At 1:25 PM, Blogger Louise said…

    I agree with Ms. Kitty that politeness is always a good choice :-) Given how difficult it can be to accurately express emotions in text, kinder is better.

    That being said, perhaps what you read as "snark" in her email was simply her not-so-great writing style? More importantly, though, the fact that you took it hard and see it as another message that you need to step back is REALLY the important thing here. Sometimes our still, small voices that tell us our own truth have to shout to be heard.

    Listen to the voice and do take a break. Your burning out doesn't help anyone. {Big hug}

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Ms. Theologian said…

    Agreeing with ms. kitty and louise....and

    I think taking a break is a good idea. There are times to volunteer, and times not to.

     
  • At 1:02 PM, Blogger PeaceBang said…

    Oh, ouch. It always stinks when good-hearted volunteers step on each other's toes. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Hey, I was trying to be of service to you. That sounded pretty snarky to me."

    I would FAR rather have a partner on a project call me on bitchy behavior than disappear without comment. I think this happens too often, and it doesn't build community, which is actually strengthened by honesty and confrontation.

    Best of luck with it, whatever you decide to do!

     

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