- We (choose your ministry) don't get the same resources as them (choose your ministry).
- It must be so nice to have the kids all day. We only get an hour.
- It must be nice to get to focus on religion. We have to cover math, reading, and everything else in so little time.
- It is so hard to not have our own space. We have to go into someone else's room every week and make it feel like home.
- It is so hard to know how to welcome another class into the space we use for so many hours the rest of the week. It is hard to not think of it as "mine."
- I don't know how to make my students respect the space we are in and still feel welcome.
- I don't know how to make my students stop blaming the "other" kids for their missing pencils, erasers, etc.
At a workshop that I attended a couple of years ago, in a discussion about CCD kids and school kids, I remember a wise DRE saying, "We have to stop referring to them as "my" kids and "your" kids. They are OUR kids."
I completely agree. While the parents are the first and most important teachers of their children, we catechists and classroom teachers come alongside and try to supplement their religious education. We should be concerned with the formation of all of the kids and should be working together.
That being said, I need to practice what I preach. I honestly cannot even tell you the name of the catechist who worked in "my" classroom last year. I left him/her a note welcoming them on the first night of CCD. When "my" kids got upset about something that was missing or rearranged, or there were small messes left behind, I did my absolute best to promote a forgiving, welcoming atmosphere. But that is about it.
I'm hoping to change that. I have already met the 5th grade catechist for this year, and we plan to work together and try to connect our classrooms a little.
One thing that we came up with the first time we talked was to encourage our kids to pray for each other. If they are praying for each other, I am thinking that it will be a lot harder to think negatively about them or want to blame them for things! Also, we all know that there is power in having specific prayer for a specific person. We are planning on pairing up the kids and leaving these prayer partner cards for the students. I am hoping that they will make connections that all of the kids are a part of the parish together and they can see themselves as a part of the larger Church as a whole.
You could use these also with kids in the same class and change up the partners, or even in a youth group or Bible Study. I made two versions , one with a little more simple wording for little kids, and one more for middle/high school kids.
I'd love to hear how you think you could use these!
Click on the images for the links to the cards!