Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | September 25, 2007

Let’s be Honest

Sometimes I truly believe that we underestimate the abilities of those around us. As someone once told me “Everyone has a talent. It is up to us to utilize whatever “gifts” we may have to the best of our abilities.” (okay, so who cares if I jacked it from my math teacher’s wall.)..But something I have been thinking about while I’m on “sabbatical” (or forced leave, however you’d like to consider it) from teaching Confirmation at my Church. HS kids are taking Critical Thinking, Algebra (yes, to me, extremely easy, but to most, not so much), AP, Honors classes. These classes require thinking (although I swear to this day, I didn’t do that much thinking in my math class, but yet again, math is something that comes pretty natural to me, and I’m the same person that freaked out about being sick and got an above perfect score on my mid-term one year, so yeah, lol, not trying to boast about it, but I’m being honest). Is it so hard to expect them to think in a religious class? Maybe I’m wrong, but what I believe is that all the skills that we learn around us can be used in all different settings. But there’s one problem, it takes effort to use these skills. I believe that they are capable of going deeper than we are going with them. It’s just that we don’t try to do it with them. We underestimate them (basically calling them stupid). I absolutely despised that as a student. (I remember this one time a teacher called me stupid, well, needless to say I showed up the next class with a reply back to what he had to say, and he also got fired the next semester. (needless to say, don’t tick me off :)). Forgive me for not watering down the Catholic Faith, and telling it like it is, un-edited from the CCC (that’s Catechism of the Catholic Church). When I was “taught” (moreless observing) on how teachers’ taught, usually they went in this order: Definition, Explanation, Example, Relate back. That’s generally how I teach my classes. Now the teaching methods vary from lecture, to activity, but usually, it’s easier to go by a lecture on this format. I often think that we don’t implore the 2nd half of education when it comes to catechesis. We often cater to them, but they do not cater to us. The Church is beautiful as is, and doesn’t need to be changed to attract people. We don’t expect our kids to do anything, that they just show up and leave. This is not how it works in the real world, and there should be some work on their part whether it be by homework or adjusting to the teacher. I had to learn the hard way to adjust to the teacher. If the teacher didn’t present something in a manner that I understood it, I went to outside sources to get the information in a way that I could understand it. I don’t even want to hear that kids have school, and they give enough work as is, why would they want to do religious HW? I don’t want to hear it, I had 7 academic classes when I was in HS and I still had to go to religious ed and do certain things. Now let’s be honest, it’s not about how they are in religious ed class (forced, or wanting to be there), but nonetheless they are still in the classroom. If it mattered to why a student was in an English class in HS, we’d go no where, for reals. But anyways, I’m done for now.

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