Monday, March 2, 2009


(Much of this was posted on the LJ earlier)

Tonight I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Tonight's catechism class went really, really well. I am happy that the students were engaged and excited for once. I'd be really happy if I'd been the one to teach it. For the sacramental class, I have help, another teacher and we switch teaching the lesson. She's really good, and I know I can't judge myself by her teaching ability. She's been doing this for many years and even though I'm just learning and still struggling at times, I get so frustrated when I can't do it. Little did I realize just how much of a perfectionist I am. I feel really emotional when it comes to teaching. The good days hit me good and the bad ones, man, they frustrate me and live longer in my mind. So, while the students behaved, it wasn't because of anything I said or did and so that makes me feel even more discouraged.

I know the students like me. They really do-- I can see it just by how they greet me or by what they say and do, but that doesn't mean I'm teaching them anything.

Tonight I left without lingering around to talk to anyone. I just left. Sometimes, I really love being there and other times I'm just feeling like I'm going through the motions regarding teaching, my faith and everything else in my life right now. It's a struggle to get to Mass on Sundays these days. I'm trying to work really hard at following up on my Lenten commitments but even that is starting to go by the wayside.

Maybe the shiny and new of it all has worn off. Maybe it's become the same old, same old. I don't know. As I drove away, a whole lot of self-doubt welled up in me and the case of Poor Little Old Me disease enveloped me.

I'm taking classes every week to learn to teach, my mentor is a wonderful woman who truly believes in me, but I'm really not seeing it in myself. I don't think I'll ever become a good teacher and I think I was kidding myself in thinking that I'd ever become a regular teacher. I suppose a lot of things are bothering me as well so I guess none of this really helps.

Oh... so about Lent. Yes. I'm struggling this year. It's only been five days and I just don't feel my heart or spirit into it. I've been keeping up with the Liturgy of the Hours, but would like to add some additional spiritual activities. I am trying to add the additional Office of Readings as well. Meanwhile, I am looking for a good spiritual read right now. While, I consider myself a well-read person, I have not really read much by way of spiritual books. I suppose the good thing about that is there are so many books I haven't read yet. Surely, there should be something that would give me some solace or inspiration right about now.


Jeff said...

Hang in, there, Maria. Very few of us are natural teachers. Experience means a lot in teaching, and if you stick with it, I'm sure you will learn. I remember thinking it would be easy, the first time I took on a 7th grade class... It was a fiasco. I was a fiasco. :)

Be patient with the Lenten journey too. Perhaps the struggle is the way it's supposed to feel, in a way.

Maria said...

Thanks Jeff. I'm a natural with kids, so I think that should mean that teaching will be easy. It hasn't been but it has been challenging and I do really enjoy it. I just never thought I was a perfectionist and so, I'm learning that teaching isn't easy and it is discouraging when things don't go well for me and when my students respond to someone else, like on Monday night, wrecks havoc with my confidence. But I've had good days and will keep learning. I won't give up.

I think that's how it's been with Lent too. It's just taking it a day at a time and not stressing. You're right that it's a journey and a struggle is definitely part of the process. It's getting better.