Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rel Ed Teachers

Well, Religious Education has started at my old job. I am proud that some of my ideas still continue and have already made the program stronger.

However, two of the best volunteers are thinking of quitting after this year. It doesn't effect me, but their reasons make me do a lot of thinking.

One of the things that these to fabulous volunteers resent is the continuous push to get "certified" by the Diocese. They feel-as do many Religious Ed teachers-that teaching each week is more than "just a few hours" as the pastor puts it.

These teachers, by and large, spend a few hours a week preparing, a few hours looking for ways to make their classes interesting and engaging, a few hours contacting the church, the parents and/or the kids and then a few hours in the classroom. Nearly all of the teachers work full time jobs and have families to take care of. Some rush right from dinner and ball practice to RelEd with barey enough time with their own kids. In short: They are VOLUNTEERS. Giving freely of their time. Time from their own careers, families and projects.

Not to say they don't like doing it, most do.

On the flip side, we've had teachers who don't KNOW what what the Church teaches, or will say things that are NOT Church teaching. One of the reasons to get them certified (though most Diocesan certifications seem rather shakey anyway)is so that those teaching the young are themselves taught.

Last year I was invited into a 9th grade classroom to say a Rosary with the kids. Teachers were "good Catholics", wonderful women and moms-but they didn't have the first clue how to say the Rosary. They had spent 3 weeks with the kids making clay rosaries, and very little time talking about how to say the Rosary and how to medidate as you are saying the Rosary.

As the Youth Minister I was right in the middle. I cringed at what some of the teachers were saying, some out of ignorance, some from being badly taught by previous parish teachers-and wanted them to read or take a course to correct their thinking/teaching. Then I also saw how very busy they were and knew that this was just more then they were willing to do, most of them.

What is the solution?


Blogger mamagiglio said...

The best thing to do, IMHO, is for the DRE to become trained in facilitating the cartification classes him-/herself and offer them right in the parish.

Many of my catechists were excited to take the certification classes. It makes the new teachers feel more confident and the more experienced ones learn something new, too. But I think that when I offer the classes in the winter, the attendance will be pretty high since it will be right in our parish.

7:29 PM  

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