This year I volunteered for the first time to be a catechist at the parish I had just joined. I’d been thinking for a while that as soon as I settled someplace long enough to join a parish, I wanted to get involved in some ministry, and being a catechist seemed like the natural fit for me. My parents were catechists, I enjoy talking to people about the faith, and I’m young enough to remember what it was like to be the student.
When a kid is taking religious education for the first time, regardless of age, they are put in a class with their peers one night a week. However, they are also required to take an Intro class on Sundays to make sure they are getting caught up and understand everything - and eventually to prep them for Reconciliation (and Communion in their second year). I was assigned to teach the older first-time kids. Depending on who shows up, there’s about 6-9 kids ranging from grades 5-8.
Unfortunately, I feel like I am really struggling. Unlike the regular grade levels, I have no book from which to teach (I use the Catechism), no existing lessons plans, and a very basic guideline on what to cover. I find I have a hard time coming up with enough material each week to fill 90 minutes. It is challenging to teach basic stuff to kids who are too old to be taught like little children. I was prepared for disinterest, but they honestly look like they’re being tortured. I’ve tried some activities, but the kids just don’t seem to know enough or care enough for them to be worthwhile.
It’s not that I am unqualified in the knowledge sense - I’m confident in my knowledge and understanding of the faith, but I’m starting to realize I’m really not a good teacher. I’m beginning to feel that not only am I being ineffective, but that I may be doing them a disservice. I can’t very well quit in the middle of the year ( the DRE would have to take over, and he is overworked as it is), but sacramental preparation is coming up and I really can’t come up short on that - it is too important. I would be very appreciative if anyone could provide me some help - be it your prayers and encouragement, or lesson ideas/plans. Anything would help.