It. Was. AWESOME!
Mostly, they paid attention and really participated in the discussion! They asked me a TON of questions (not all of which were relevant, haha!) and I surprised myself by being able to answer almost all of them. Here is a small sampling of what crosses the mind of a fifth grade CCD student:
1. What does Exodus 3:1-15 mean? (apparently fifth graders dont know how to really use the Bible– only one of them knew that was a Bible citation at all!)
2. My mom says we become angels when we die– is that true? (I said I needed to get back to them on this one. I know that angels are a separate race than men, but wasnt sure how to explain it without making her doubt her mothers information)
3. I saw on TV where people die and then their spirit just walks around for a while. Does that really happen?
4. What’s catechism?
5. How do you know if the Holy Spirit visited you?
6. Does God talk to people out loud or just in your head?
7. Was the story of Samuel a sign of God’s presence?
8. Is this lady a saint? (when I gave them Elizabeth Ann Seton medals)
9. What’s “canonized”?
I can’t remember w hat all else they asked me. As you can see from the lesson plan I posted yesterday, we got off on a few tangents :) Eleven is such an awesome age! They really really wanted to know! If only adults kept that sense of curiosity!
As awesome as it went, it was a little dry just sitting and talking, so I’m working on an activity for next week. I’m thinking of a jeopardy-style game (but with questions, not answers) that covers what we discussed this week, what we’re discussing next week, and also a few “Challenge” questions of things we haven’t yet covered. With prizes of course :)
What really surprised me was how interested they were in sacramentals, and the concept that certain physical items could help them in their devotion. They LOVED the medal, and more importantly, they loved hearing about a person in recent history, who lived right here in Maryland, who actually became a saint! The Shrine to Mother Seton is within driving distance of us, and they could actually go and sit in the glade where she taught the schoolchildren about Jesus.
Unfortunately the teacher’s aid doesn’t seem to care for me much. We had a miscommunication about the start date of the class, and so the Auditor had to sub for me last week, which for some reason displeased her. I’m hoping we can get past this and move along with the class, but she seems to have a problem with me personally, a problem with my husband, a problem with my teaching style, and a problem with the fact that I have to miss one more class for a family obligation (The Auditor will be subbing).
Her issues with my teaching style are frustrating for me. I vividly remember being 11 years old, (hey, it wasnt that long ago!) and wishing people would talk to me like an adult, instead of like a five year old. I don’t want to “dumb things down” for them– for example, I gave them the word “transubstantiation” (with a definition) when discussing the Eucharist. They seemed really interested in the word, but she thought it was too big a word for fifth grade. I just feel like if we’re going to discuss the topic, we may as well introduce some of the vocabulary– very clearly, with age appropriate definitions.
So that’s going to be a small struggle– but I’m not sure I care all that much. My bullheaded nature is inclined to just ignore that sort of input and carry on with what follows the syllabus and what is interesting to them. But lately I’ve been doing a little self-evaluation, and I tend to just plough over people a little too frequently, so I’m trying to keep that in mind and be a bit more tolerant of dissenting opinions…I’m not going to lie, IT IS HARD!
All in all? LOVING teaching CCD! I wish I’d started doing it years ago! This is gonna be good…