From my experience as a catechist, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten things that can go wrong when teaching a class. These are not in any order. Do these resonate with your experience? What else would you add?
- Your audiovisual equipment either didn’t show up or doesn’t work
- You find yourself short on the amount of books, handouts, or materials needed
- You are emotionally and/or physically run down and can’t find the energy needed to teach this lesson
- Your students totally misunderstand the complex directions you thought you just explained, and everything is up for grabs
- A student stumps you with a question that you have no idea how to answer—e.g.: “Did Judas go to hell?” or “Why can’t women be priests?” or “If we’re eating the Body and Blood of Jesus at communion, doesn’t that make us cannibals?”
- The lesson, video, or text turns out to be a lemon
- A minor discipline problem makes you lose your train of thought —e.g.: giggling, side talking, tapping a pen, a well-timed burp (or other gastrointestinal sound effects), etc.
- An interruption (someone at the door) allows the students just the sliver of opportunity they needed to create a disruption
- Someone (a guest speaker or student scheduled to do a presentation) doesn’t show up when they are supposed to
- You’re done with your lesson and you still have thirty-five minutes to go!
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”—Sir Winston Churchill