Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Teaching the teacher

The time has come to begin making preparations for this year's CCD class. Last year was my first year as a teacher, and I rather enjoyed it. My wife and I co-taught the 7th and 8th grade class, which at our parish consists of 8-12 students depending on who shows that weekend. I say I co-taught with my wife, which in reality boils down to, she sat next to me and tried her best not to appear frustrated as I ran through the lesson plan nearly every week. I'm blessed to be married to a beautiful woman who accepts that I'm seriously lacking in the ability to share my toys.

I'm working on it, but I do admit that I have a tendency to try and tackle every thing myself, and not share the load with those who have volunteered to take it. After all, if I want something done right, I have to do it myself don't I ? The problem is, I know I hurt her feelings sometimes by not trusting her enough to get the job done without my supervision. As if I know what I'm doing ! She did teach a few of the lesson plans, and the ones she did teach were well done.

This year is a different story for me. My wife has elected not to return as a teacher this year, as the demands of caring for our son would make it difficult for the both of us to be out of the house from 9am- noon every Sunday. Between breastfeeding, pumping, and entertaining a 5-month old with a finite attention span, I can't blame her.

As a result of the child abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in the US, our diocese requires that any activity involving minors must be supervised by 2 adults. For me, this means that I will be co-teaching with somebody new, and most likely not as excited about my overbearing persona as the Mrs. pretends to be.

Getting teachers to volunteer for religious ed is hard enough in a small parish. Getting teachers to volunteer to work with sulking, sullen, sleepy 12 and 13 year old kids at 9 am on Sunday is harder. Especially when that class is the Confirmation Class. The notion that you're expected to impart the most critical tenets of the Catholic faith on these kids, and then stand in front of the Bishop and the entire congregation and say that you certify them as ready and willing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation is somehow more daunting than volunteering to help the pre-K class learn how to recite the Hail Mary and glue macaroni noodles to construction paper. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit moves and inspires people much better than I do, and there are some volunteers for my class!

At the end of mass a few weeks ago, the deacon reminded folks that we were still in need of 4-5 more volunteers for CCD teachers. This was a particularly well timed reminder, as that weekend's reading had included Ezekiel 2:2-5, where the Lord calls Ezekiel and sets him to work. The priest centered his homily on how we are all called to do the Lord's work, and how we need to be open to doing the Lord's will, not our own. Well low and behold, there were a few folks actually listening, and we now have all the teachers spots filled for the upcoming year.

I will be co-teaching this year with a husband and wife couple. They seem pretty eager to help out, which is great. The dilemma in this situation for me, is once again my own selfishness and pride. I'm worried about how well I'll be able to actually sit back and let somebody else teach what I've come to think of as MY class. I also have to be better prepared this year with lesson plans, as I do have a habit of cranking one out late Saturday or even over my coffee on Sunday morning. That's not going to cut it if we're all to share in teaching these kids in what I feel is a very important stage for them.

It would appear, that my recent prayers have been met with a challenge. I've been praying that I would be more accepting of God's way before my own. All to often I look to do what I want, before I consider what God wants me to do in a situation. It will be tough for me to step back and let somebody else have some control. I've never been good at sitting quietly. This will be a chance for me to let God work in my life, if only I can stay out of His way !

No comments:

Post a Comment