Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Don't worry, you will survive dear!

I survived my first night of a new school year of teaching catechism. . . barely. It was quite chaotic to be honest.

I thought I was prepared. I'd typed out an outline of what we were going to cover, I had the class all set up before the kids showed up, and I had photocopied the activities we'd be using. . . etc. . . but then reality struck.

Five kids were added to my class during the class. They just kept showing up. I didn't have enough chairs for all of them and we were really squished for space. I didn't have enough photocopied activities which added to the excitement. By the end of the class my group had grown from eleven to sixteen seven year olds. There's a big difference between eleven and sixteen kids, especially when they're seven years old.

It was chaos. I was improvising class management skills as we went along, sending some of the most hmmm. . . how shall we say. . . energetic (?) children to go get photocopies made of the activities that we didn't have enough copies of.

Last year I had eleven kids in my class and I had a friend of mine who was in her last year of university to become an elementary school teacher helping me in the classroom. This year I have sixteen kids and I'm entirely on my own. To add to the fun I have a handful of children who are very very very energetic. Apparently the grade one teacher from last year isn't teaching this year because after having them (the children who are now in my class) in her class she wasn't sure that she could handle another year of teaching catechism. So this should be fun. Actually, to be quite honest, I'd rather an 'overly energetic' class than a class of children who don't want to be there. At least the energetic children always have something to say, questions to ask, and really engage with what is being taught. Now, if I could just keep them under control.

Immediately following catechism class on Wednesdays is evening Mass and so as I was finishing up the class an elderly priest (fifty-one years in the priesthood!) who is filling in at our parish right now was in the room adjacent to my classroom vesting for Mass. He poked his head in my classroom, chuckled, smiled at me and said in a thick Irish accent "Oh my! Don't worry, you will survive dear!"

All holy men and women, pray for me!