Thursday, September 20, 2007

teaching again

My wife warned me, a warning passed along to her from her cousin, a retired schoolteacher of some 70+ yrs old, a sweet wonderful lady. The warning was that I ought to keep my expectations low with regard to my students (8th grade) response to my attempts at teaching them at CCD (Catholic religious ed). Her cousin knows me, lol. She knows how excited I can get, and she knows 8th graders, lol.

Well, let me tell you, I was a bit apprehensive and I didn't have a lot of time to set up the room. But, once we got going, they were all (for the most part) pretty responsive. Basically for a first lesson, I wanted to create a "christian community" in our classroom. We read some scripture passages (Mt 28:18-20; Jn 13:34-35; Mt 18:19-20) to sort of set the guidelines for how we are going to do things. I also came right out and asked who was glad to be there (0 hands) and then who was not so much glad to be there (16 hands- all of em). We talked about what they expect from class, how they want to learn, what they want to learn and we basically set up 6 guiding principles and promised each other (made a deal) that we'd do our best to live by them during class. We also made a deal that we'd try hard to remember that Jesus is amongst us, not only when we gather in His name, but always, and for all ages. Ya know, I got a decent amount of participation, although many of them are reluctant to share, most of the read something or gave a thought or an idea, and they all wrote down their expectations of the class. I think it sort of surprised them that I came in there and told them that it's their class, and that I considered this class to be a part of the foundation that gives them the ability to do all those things in life that are important to them. They really seemed to be ok with all of it. And for 8th graders, in this day and age, I will take that anytime. We'll work on the real enthusiasm and excitement as we go through the year. Funny enough, when they wrote down their expectations of class and me... I got NO ridiculous suggestions at all. They jotted a couple things down on a piece of paper and I told them they didnt have to put down their names, they could remain anonymous and they all took it seriously.

I have to say that I was feeling really great after class, and headed off to my AA home group. It was a great first class! I can see that this is going to be difficult (getting all 16 kids "on board" each week, and enthusiastic) and it will take time and preparation. But, it will be an awesome experience.

prayer for today...

God, thank You for keeping me sober today, that I might live a life of good purpose, aligned with Your Will for me. Thank You for giving me the courage to volunteer to teach CCD. I am going to get so much from doing this, I can see already. Please help me to help those kids get something from our classes... Help me to share my love for You and Your Son and His Church, that those kids might develop an excitement about You and Your Church as well. Help me sort through all that I am learning at work and balance my efforts between sales in my bank branch, marketing to my realtor network, handling/processing my loans and all my continuing education. Wow, thanks for this challenge, holy smokes!

may the peace of Christ be with you all...

2 comments:

Gwen said...

Love and service baby! Love and service.

Mary Christine said...

Bless you for doing this tremendous service. I can't even imagine. I have the "ten commandments for group process" from my Bible class if you are interested....