Teaching Peace

Teaching Peace

by Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Exploration

I’d like to thank our teachers and our community for teaching peace.

I think about our Religious Exploration program as a way to teach peace.  When I look at our curricula, and our lead teachers as they prepare the lessons,  and when I read their recaps about how the class interacted with the material, I see peace being taught.   It may not be a lesson that is entitled ” Peace” per se…but we find so many unique ways to teach the concept of peace.

I witness the way teachers pull  their resources and time together to cover a years worth of Religious Exploration.  Our teachers cover one another when a need arises and are involved in brainstorming ways to make things more interesting : really getting involved in making a classroom experience memorable.  This is peace. Our cooperative Religious Exploration program is how we come together in smaller bits to pull off a big undertaking. Thank you to all of our parents who show up for their commitments in the classroom and engage with our young ones at the highest of levels.  It creates a peaceful environment when not one person feels overworked or taken advantage of. This is the beauty of a cooperative program.

Children learn , beginning in nursery, that caring for each other and respecting others’ space, each other’s differences, and the adults who care for them is how peace is formed and maintained.  What great lessons they can be bringing out into our world !

Caring and honoring others that are a different religion , race, or socioeconomic background is a concept that can seem easy to talk about but more difficult to practice out in the world.  I feel like we do a great job teaching peacekeeping skills , by way of teaching and practicing our first principle : that we all are worthy and everyone should be treated with dignity- bottom line.  Justice is peace, respect is peace, supporting one another on our journeys is peace. Having fun together is peace, Compassion and empathy is peace. Caring for our earth and the interconnected web is peace, It is all taught and practiced within our walls every Sunday .

When I personally teach a class, the lessons are doubly reinforced within me.  It makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated to revisit known topics and explore new curricula.

Why do we need to know about the religion of Islam?  Why do we need to know about how plastic impacts our ecosystem, or how the housing market is crippling the homeless community, about human sexuality and how your body works?    Because, the more we know, the more our ignorance drops away,. The more in tuned we are with the inequities , the differences, the real ways we can love, and be loved…the more we can know and foster peace.  For me , as a religious educator, I take pride in my important job and am proud of the work of so many others here at UUCW . Everyone should try teaching peace !

Let us continue to work hard and to tell others that don’t know about this fine community all about it!  I hope to grow this community so many more can know what important and joyful work they can be a part of too.