Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm such a dork.

Yesterday I had my meeting with Eileen, who is the Assistant DRE at our parish.  So I now have my teacher's manual for the Kindergarten CCD class I'll be teaching starting in September.  Based on what she told me, it seems like I have free reign to do as little or as much as I want with the class.  She did mention that they were going to institute a lesson plan of what chapters are to be done on specific weeks to keep all the classes on the same page, so I'm pretty sure that's my only constraint.  

I'm just hoping whoever comes up with the lesson plan order takes the liturgical seasons into consideration.  This past year, Madeline learned about Lent the Thursday before Holy Week.  Now I did go over the season of Lent with her before Ash Wednesday, but I was shocked that Lent wasn't at least presented in class the day after Ash Wednesday.  They didn't cover Easter or Holy Week until after Easter.  I fully intend to teach the kids about Advent, Lent and Easter as they're happening, and not after they have passed.  

So on to why I am a dork.  I just spent a good portion of time browsing Amazon and The Catholic Company gathering ideas for books that I can read to the class that will correlate with the lessons in the text book.  I found one book that offers craft ideas, too.  I'm beginning to come up with a plan.  I didn't expect to enjoy formulating the lesson plan as much as I am.  I guess part of the novelty is that I never got to have a say on what I was teaching when I was a substitute teacher.  I had the latitude to present the lessons my way, but that was where the creative process ended.

I was feeling guilty about the fact that the RE office wouldn't take my tuition payment for the girls' classes, but now that I have a growing list of books I want to buy for my class, I don't feel so bad.  I'm pretty sure that in the end I'm going to spend far more money on supplies for my class than I would have for the tuition.  I'm going to wind up being that teacher who runs over every week.  Madeline's 1st grade catechist was like that, but she really inspired the kids and they absolutely loved her.  Both of my girls visit her class almost every Sunday morning just to say hello.  

It's funny, but part of me feels like I need to offer to take on one of the middle school classes.  I've found some information on line for how to approach this age group, and I think I could have a good time with the older kids if they're willing to be engaged.  I'd love to come up with some Catechism Trivia games and even a Jeopardy or Family Feud style game.  If I made the class fun for them, I can't imagine that they'd dread coming to it (but I suppose I could be wrong, it has happened on occasion).  I think if I got over my fear that taking them on would equate to me getting in over my head, I'd be able to really enjoy the experience.  I'm going to think about it a little more.  Perhaps, if I don't do it this year, I could do it next year.  If I don't actually ask to take one of the middle school classes, I'll probably offer up my services as a substitute for the time slot when Madeline has her class.  If I did that, then I could discern whether or not I really want to take on the older kids.

Anyway, in my total dorkness, I'm excited about the job I have volunteered to take on (I didn't expect to be, if I'm being perfectly honest).  I'll be busy scouring the internet for ideas to make my class as fun and exciting as possible.  I need to buy a notebook so I can start writing down my ideas.  It is my intention to teach the kindergarten class for at least the next three years.  


  1. I'm a volunteer RE teacher (CCD) for my parish as well. I do prayer for the 6th-8th graders and Kindergarten on Sunday Mornings. I enjoy doing them both, but I enjoy the Kindergarten more, because I have the ability to do more or less of what I would like, when I would like. With the 6th-8th graders I'm bound to the curriculum and pretty much can only do the curriculum given to us.

  2. hi; just found your blog; I've enjoyed reading some of your entries. My kids are grown (20/23) but I remember when they were younger and my husband traveled, something always broke. Heater, plumbing, etc. I always had to deal with things I had no idea how to deal with, but we managed to muddle through, but I do understand how frustrating it can be.

    I think teaching younger grades for catechism (that's what we called it when I was growing up in the Catholic faith) would be ideal; I think sometimes, speaking from experience of my own kids and their interaction with church groups as they grew older, was that it was hard to keep the interests of middle school/high school kids unless they truly wanted to be there and wanted to learn about our Lord. Otherwise, they looked at the classes at times as an extension of their social lives and a time to mingle with friends rather than learn about God. The younger kids really seem to want to soak up knowing who Jesus is :)

    good luck with it; sounds fun to be able to plan what you teach.

    For me, I always enjoyed holding the babies and loving on them at church and let those who are led to teach, teach; glad there are those led to teach :)

    enjoy your day



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