It all started in high school, I suppose. I was inspired by a teacher who went above and beyond, and I was at the point when I needed to choose a college and a major, so agricultural education it was, at our state’s land grant university.
Fast forward three years, to my student teaching. It can be summarized this way: I was convinced not to teach.
After a few years in industry, I became an active, practicing Catholic, and when our DRE approached me about teaching, I couldn’t say no.
I wanted to, mind you. What did I know about teaching third graders (my training was with high schoolers), and how could I possible know enough about my new Catholic faith (the one I had been so reluctant about) to teach anyone else?
I ended up having a wonderful three years of teaching third grade religious education for our parish, but then the demands of being a new wife and mom made an evening commitment like that more than I could handle.
This summer, I had the opportunity to teach for the first time in almost eight years. It was a group of Confirmation students for our annual Confirmation boot camp. I was excited and a bit nervous.
I had such a good time, I couldn’t keep myself from offering, for a variety of “reasons,” to teach 5th grade this year. I walked into the first class flying high on a cocktail of delight and anxiety.
What if I was no good? What if this wouldn’t work for my family? What if…what if…what if?
Well, as I’ve struggled to straddle the ole teaching saddle again, I’ve found two things to be true and often forgotten in my own approach to catechesis:
1. It’s not about me.
2. The Holy Spirit has it all under control.
As catechists, we are all woefully under-prepared, no matter how ready we think we are. Nothing gets you ready for a group of young people (or, for that matter, older people either). You will never have it all under control, because, among other things, that’s just not in your capacity. Only God can have things completely under control.
Being a catechist is an ongoing lesson in trusting God, and for that I’m grateful.
image credit: Study Abroad Domain