Need advise on RCIA Lecture tonight!

I belong to an RCIA group and we always have a discussion on different topics when we meet. I truly enjoy the style of sharing information with eachother and our RCIA teacher is there for us to ask pertinent questions.
Some evenings are really interesting when almost everybody has something to say.

Tonight our teacher has to attend a meeting so she is having a church lady give us a lecture tonight instead of having our discussion group.

This lady called me and told me that she plans to speak for one or two hours straight because she has so much to teach us.
She doesn’t want us to have our usual discussion because it will take time away from what she has to teach us.

I told the church lady that last time when she gave a lecture she went so fast with her information that I really didn’t get it.
She said she had to gear her lecture to the group and not to just one person which is me. It didn’t hurt my feelings at all.

My main concern is that the lecture will be boring for me because she doesn’t want us to stop her and clarify what she is talking about. She says she has so much to teach us that she has to go as fast as she can. She said to save our questions for next week.

My main question is… what are the best techniques should be used in giving a lecture? I told her she needs to slow down a bit so we can ponder the information she is giving us.

My main fear is just to tune her out because she wants to talk about too many subjects in two hours.
I learn better by having a group discussion.

The only think I can do is to tell the church lady and the group that I plan to leave after one hour. I plan to sit near the door so when the time is up I can leave.

Any advise?

I think that if the subject would come up outside of the her lectures again. I would feel obligated to ask her why she does not agree with the method of instruction that the RCIA director uses?

Socrates is the best model teacher: question and answer session that helps students arrive at the truth. This method works great for me in 7th-grade religious education, and if one can please 7th-graders and get them fired up, one can teach anyone. Go with the Socratic method.

In the spirit of charity, I would stay for her talk. If you have a question, raise your hand. Should it be unrecognized, write down your question and email it to Father for an answer.

Different styles reach different people.

Unfortunately, it isn’t exactly to place of the student to tell the instructor how to teach her class. If your main RCIA instructor has confidence in this lady and this lady is charitable enough to give of her time to come out and do this, it may be better to just grin and bear it and be grateful that you have an instructor that night. We’re all doing the best we can.

Having said that, as an instructor I don’t agree that the best method of teaching in this situation is just straight instruction with no time given to questions. People learn by asking questions, and by being engaged. Sometimes a student will lose the edge to his question if he has to wait for another week to ask it and will end up forgetting about it or not caring, when it could have been an answer of great benefit to him or to others in the class. And sometimes, as teachers, we aren’t always clear and if no one asks, no one will understand.

If an instructor “has too much to say” she either needs to pare down her talk, alot a longer time period, or have a two-part lesson.

If you think the guest instructors are not doing a good job, the person to approach on it is, not the guest instructor, but the RCIA leader. Bring it up to her charitably and, if you have a valid point, she gets other complaints, and she is open to improving her program, she will do something about it. If not, you may have to offer it up as a sacrifice. The last thing you want to do is boycott the session or opt out. Exercise humility and respect. Try to remember it’s not all about you (or me).

Ultimately, you want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Whatever happens, stick with the program and continue learning the Faith. When your time comes, you can volunteer to be an instructor and show 'em how it’s done. :slight_smile:

Generally speaking a presentation to an adult group should:

  1. have many forms of presentation included, Video, Audio, Lecture, Discussion, Group activity.

  2. Should last 45 minutes at most per part with a 10-15 minute break between at most two parts

  3. If possible have two people present either together or different parts

  4. Stop every 20 minutes and ask if anyone has questions.

  5. Handout material must be provided including all that is presented, with CCC # references.

Say a prayer of thanksgiving that your regular instructor is so good. Recognize that not all people are gifted teachers but you can learn from even the less gifted ones. Say a prayer of thanksgiving that this other teacher is willing to give of her time and step in for your class. Be happy that she’s not your regular instructor. Suck up one class that’s not going to be to your liking.

I can’t imagine sitting for two hours hearing one person lecture. I do many presentations and I just can’t give credence to someone trying to jam that much into one session. Others have said, be thankful for the teacher, and yes you should, but at the same time you should let the regular instructor know about this ridiculous method. I question why the lecture is being given. Is it to present information or to present the presenter? I would not take this sitting down, play on words. People’s attention span is directly related to the physical condition of ones backside and after 15 or 20 minutes, my backside can’t handle any more.
In His service,

I would just take notes on my questions that I didn’t understand and ask the regular teacher when they get back next week.

Thank you all for your advise. It is a beautiful morning in Los Angeles. The bright sun is out and I know I will have a wonderful day and night.

I plan to attend tonight’s lecture with a positive attitude and suck it up like someone said for me to do. I plan to take a bottle of wine to share which is allowed at our round table of 10 students.
Some students will be taking sweets and snacks to share. We also have coffee and tea provided by our church.

The majority of us are college educated and we truly enjoy having a discussion but tonight we will all be quiet and respectful of the church lady giving us her style of lecturing which will be hard on some of us who are used to asking questions and also adding information to our group.

The church lady is a nice lady but I feel she is using us as a captive audience to "present herself "like SKEYES has said to his advise to me. I just remembered last time that she used the final 30 minutes to tell us a personal story about her experience with God and how she had gotten angry with God and turned her back on God but she finnally resolved her anger with God.
I was too tired to say to her that it wasn’t God’s fault for what had happened to her. But it was her experience so I kept my mouth shut.
I am an old lady with osteo-arthritis in my legs so I plan to go to the restroom to do some exercises to keep me from getting spasms in my legs. That is why I can only stay one hour.

All of us are in the habit of letting the group know when we have to leave the class early so I will let the group know in advance before the lady starts her lecture.

Yes, I am lucky that my teacher teaches like Socrates. After each class is over I always say thank you to my teacher because I do understand that she is giving us her time and she is very kind to me and to the others. She is a very positive teacher and doesn’t mind when we ask questions.

She does need a break from us once in awhile. We have had some great speakers in our class.

In the spirit of charity I will stay for one hour. That is all that my brain and body can handle from this church lady.
I will also be happy for my teacher to be able to take a break from us.
I will also say a prayer that the church lady does a good job of presenting of what she has to say to us tonight.


I always wonder why we have to grin and bear it because someone volunteers their time. If they are the worst teacher ever, we are told to sit through their class, because they volunteered. :shrug: Some volunteers are awful.

Why can’t we say, “Look, I know you think you have to rush through everything because you have so much to say… But if you really want to make an impact, pare it down to 45 minutes. Just hit the highlights, we would all be better off.”

Why can’t we? Because it’s rude and immature to interupt someone in the middle of their class to say, " “Look, I know you think you have to rush through everything because you have so much to say… But if you really want to make an impact, pare it down to 45 minutes. Just hit the highlights, we would all be better off.” I can’t imagine anyone except the rudest of adolescents to display such poor judgment as to speak to a real person in this manner.

As I and others said above, during class is not the time to bring this up. Either meet with the primary instructor before or after class and discuss it with them.

Some volunteers are awful teachers, but perhaps that’s because the really fantastic perfect teachers like the ones who criticize them have better things to do than give of their time for others. :slight_smile:

Hi everybody… I plan to get to the class 30 minutes early so I can speak to the church lady privately and say to her that trying to fit too much information into her lecture is not a good idea.

I think she will argue that she just has to do it her way. I know her real well. It is her time to shine and she has a lot to say because she thinks it is her calling to jam as much information as she can to us students in two hours straight.

I will come back after my lecture and let you all know how it went. It may be an informative and interesting lecture tonight.
I hope so. Lucy

Perhaps she is worried that the other teacher is not teaching you everything necessary for you to know, and she wants to fit the whole year of Catechesis into one lecture. (It has been known to happen.)

Perhaps you could mention to her that you really feel grateful to your regular teacher for how much wonderful information she has been teaching to you, and that you really feel that when it comes time for you to be Confirmed, you will be well-prepared to live the life of a good Catholic. :slight_smile:

Oh my, I wouldn’t want someone to say that during the class. But the regular teacher could say that when she hears that the class is now taking 2 hours, rather than the 45 minutes that she takes.

So you may think I am the “rudest of adolescents.” Oh, and rude and immature. But really I am just someone that has a very busy life that can’t see sitting through two hours of instruction that should take 45 minutes. Just seems like a waste of time. If there is really 2 hours of information to be taught, then great, it should be taking 2 hours every week.

And I must be one of those awful teachers, since I teach every week, too. Just so you know that your insinuation was way off. :rolleyes:

I am back from the RCIA lecture class. Our class is always 1 and 1/2 hour per week… not 45 minutes.

I went early and my teacher and the church lady were there and I told my teacher that I was going to miss her and I gave her a hug.
I told her she was my favorite teacher and that nobody could really take her place.
The church lady was listening. I told the church lady that I had to leave early and couldn’t stay late.

Guess what? The church lady slowed down her lecture and only spoke about a couple of subjects which was a relief.
She also told a couple of personal stories about her life which were personal problems. But they were short stories which was okay. It was related to how she sees God and his goodness.

She did allow us to speak at times which was great. I would ask her to clarify what she was saying so I could understand it better and she did.

I was really impressed that she cut down what she had to say and stayed within our time limit of one and 1/2 hour.

As soon as she finished her lecture I stood up to give everybody the hint that we could all go home so people started to leave right away since they have to go to work the next day.

Thank you all for your advise. I think the church lady really listened to my feed back on slowing down and not try to cover too much information in one lecture.

We all left happy. Lucy

That is good to hear! I would suggest that you let the church lady know how you feel. Maybe if she gets possitive feedback about how you appreciate her new format, she might do the same good job in the future when she needs to pitch hit for the regular person. :slight_smile: I mean, all of us need to hear when we do something good, not just when we mess it up. Since she listened to your suggestions, you might just call her up and say thanks. :thumbsup:

Dare i ask? What is a “church lady?”

Most likely someone female who is active in the parish. :wink:

Call in sick, stay home and pray for her!

I would seriously consider sharing this information with the following:

Your regular teacher

Your DRE (Director of Parish Education) if not yet satisfied.

And your Pastor.

Do it KINDLY. briefly, and stick to the facts.

This well ententioned lady, would seem to be doing alot more harm than good.

All of us have Righrs and Obligations. It is perfectly OK to insist of your right to be informed about the Faith you are considering.

BUT ALWAYS with love!
And as an FYI… I teach RCIA too:o

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit