Tuesday, September 06, 2005

if you've been waiting with bated breath

to hear how my subbing for the Religion class with the 7th graders went:

you know it's just not a really good sign when before you even get up to start, the head of school lectures the class on behavior and especially on their behavior, and the minute he's out the door the class starts doing exactly what it is he was complaining about.

Well, I tried to lead a discussion about the theological implications of Katrina (I'm not THAT dumb, I didn't use the word 'theological'). I think they were kind of interested in it, but just not able to really behave in a manner that would make discussion possible.

I know it's not me, everyone else has had trouble with this group this year. But of course one always wants to go into a situation like that and be the hero, the shining star, the one person who can make it all better.

A little humility is good for the soul, right?


At 8:42 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Sounds like me with the Cub Scouts. I'm sorry. It seems to me that if there are two rabble-rousers in the group, it is nearly impossible to hold the attention of any of them. And, besides that, if I understand correctly, 7th grade is about the worst!


At 9:46 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

7th graders - is like teaching at a hormone convention. One has to be a little crazy to do that!
I am sure you did fine - Jr. High/Middle schoolers are always a challenge!

At 11:07 PM, Blogger Apostle John said...

humility may be good for the soul, and no one can make us more humble than a 7th grader :)

At 7:22 AM, Blogger Kathryn said...

Poor you. I'm sorry it was so gruelling...hope your scars heal soon. My teens told me that while I could probably get away with doing assemblies for yr 7, anyone older than that would reduce me to a gibbering wreck and I was on no account to attempt to interact with any older teens in bulk until they hit the relative civilisation of the 6th form. Sounds as if the horrors start a year sooner in the US. Ah well, we live and learn...

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Mary Beth said...

I clearly remember being in 7th grade and watching some horrible boys make the teacher cry. And I thought, "I would NEVER teach kids this age!"

And I do not!

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Sophia said...

I have to admit, I love 7th graders! Seriously! In the last couple of years my youth ministry efforts have focused mostly on 7-9th graders. It's been interesting!

Any time something positive happens when ministering to them, it's very exciting because you know you've really earned it. I also feel pretty sorry for them - that's such a tough age.

This age takes time to get used to and to develop a rapport with, so not feeling like things went all that well the first time is pretty normal.

Once my Rite 13 (7th and 8th graders) told me stories of things their classmates had done to substitute teachers. I'm sure some of it was an exaggeration, but I was pretty glad that for whatever reason they have never done anything like that around me!

7th graders have a physiological need to be in motion constantly. We compensate for this by allowing our kids to doodle or color discretely during discussions. You'd be amazed at the deep, thoughtful conversations my group has had with me while they colored in photocopies of stained glass windows, angels, Celtic crosses, etc. Who knew?


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