I was very pleased with my first session of 6th grade religious education last evening! 🙂
Here’s a rundown of highlights and lowlights:
- Since I teach in the later session and someone is in the room before me, I don’t have much time to set up (15 mins…if I’m lucky) so it is a real whirlwind trying to get things ready. I have this notion that the kids will walk into this very serene and prayerful setting…not even close! In the midst of last second preparations, all of a sudden, they all showed up…time to teach, Joe!!!
- I have 14 students…I think (2 on the list did not show up and 1 NOT on the list did show up)
- Last minute glitch: can’t find the textbooks! Lil, the program secretary to the rescue!
- Met my aid, a high school freshman named Alex…fine young man, very helpful and very reliable. I kept him busy from the get go.
- The kids were were cordial and friendly and at ease. They come from 3 different schools so they don’t all know each other. They were all well behaved…one of them may be a handful but only because of abundant energy!
- I taught a lot of “procedures” last night: the procession to set up the prayer center, the opening prayer, the Scripture reading, the presentation of the textbooks, the ball toss for reading from the textbook, signing the classroom covenant, and so on. They all went very well.
- Best moment: after the procession to set up the prayer center, I asked “what did that feel like…what does the prayer center speak to us?” One of the boys said, “church.” Thank you, Jesus!
- I felt scattered occasionally because there was nowhere for me to place all of MY materials so I was literally scattered. I’ll need to figure out how to better utilize the space and designate a central location for my stuff. Also, if the other 2 kids show up who were absent last night, I’ll need a new seating configuration because they won’t all fit as I have it set up now.
- The lesson went well and we introduced the Bible as the place where God reveals his plan for us, emphasizing that God keeps no secrets.
- The kids adapted well to the guided reflection…for the most part. A few of them were fidgety but they were very eager to get into their “sacred space” and have me dim the lights. Afterwards, I asked them if they want me to do this each week and they shouted, “Yes!!!” I also asked, “for how many of you was this your only quiet time today?” and all the hands went up. I told them that we will enjoy the gift of quiet each time we gather.
- We ended on a prayerful note and I look forward to next week when we have an opening liturgy in church. That will leave me with 15-20 mins in the classroom…not much time to do much but I’ll come up with something!
- I left a note for the librarian, introducing myself and giving her my contact info in case she finds anything out of place after our sessions…always good to establish a rapport with the person whose room you’re using.
Let’s hear about your first session!