Sunday, September 21, 2008

Newbie Teachers

David and I have volunteered to teach CCD/Religious Education at our parish this year.  It's something we've been thinking about doing for a long time, and we finally decided to go for it.  Immediately, we were overwhelmed with the task we'd undertaken.  As converts to Catholicism, we had no idea what goes into teaching CCD.  We'd both gone to Sunday School as children, but I'm not sure that the churches of our youth expected our (good and wonderful) Sunday School teachers to cover quite so much information.  

The curriculum we're using is designed for Catholic school teachers, where the kids are in religious education five days a week.  Parish CCD programs (or at least the CCD program at our parish) is designed for the kids who are not in Catholic school and are not homeschooled-- in other words, the kids who generally have the least knowledge of the faith.  Our parish also has a huge immigrant Hispanic community.  Many of the students in CCD are the children of parents who work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and simply don't have the time to spend on a lot of religious instruction at home.

It was really challenging for me to take the 5-day lesson plan and condense it down into a plan for an hour and fifteen minutes.  I did it, and we got through it, but I hope that we went through it in a way that sunk in somewhat for the kids.

I was pleasantly surprised in a few ways.  First of all, we had a lot more students in our class than we were expecting-- about 15 today.  Second, they were really good at participating.  There was one little girl who knew all the answers to my questions (kind of reminded me of me at her age!), and I'm going to have to remind myself not to call on her all the time.  We'll need to bring the other kids out of their shells, too.  Third, we didn't have any behavior problems at all during class.  

I was also thrilled that David was teaching with me, along with a recent college graduate who works on the Hill in my office.  There were a couple of times when David totally hit the nail on the head in responding to some of the boys' questions, in ways I never would have responded.  For example, he likened forming our consciences properly to training our muscles for sports, an analogy I wouldn't have thought of, but one that the boys in class really seemed to like.  

All in all, we really enjoyed class, even though it took a lot of preparation and was a little exhausting!  Please pray for us and for our students, so that our students would grow in the faith this school year.

1 comment:

Arwen said...

Hey, great! I was praying for you guys today, and I'm glad it went well on the first day!

It sounds like it will be a little exhausting, but this is such a good thing you're doing. You should be proud of yourselves, I think.