Sunday, February 08, 2015

I did'nt sign up for this!!!!

I was telling you in the last post here how I have signed up for being the Catechism teacher at Church.

It is now mandatory for children who are in school, in every parish to be part of the catechism classes that are organized in the church every Sunday.  The format is very structured, but in certain states like Kerala it runs so beautifully, that a Sunday Catechism is conducted  literally like regular main stream school.  The attendance is marked, every class has a teacher, there is a standard curriculum followed, recommended books, examinations and children need to clear the evaluations, to move from one class to another.  Not so well in any other states I guess.  Chennai is no better.
So the whole structure is a little fuzzy and for someone like me who likes being organized and formal, this is a little difficult to handle.  ( I realized I find a lot of stuff that is difficult to handle just last week, but that is fodder for another blog post, maybe)  But I am mentally prepared to manage this and I instruct  myself to fall in place with the madness around these classes when I signed up for this.
So today, I walk in for the Catechism class, and I get a message from the senior co-ordinator that two teachers are on leave, and hence between the remaining two of us, we have to manage.
And by the way, must be my age, the moment I said I am in for this as a tutor, the senior co-ordinator   at church told me that I have to handle the children coming from the higher secondary classes, and I have been handling the older children till now.  Which means my preparation for the sessions need to real good and I also realized how limited my knowledge is in the religion itself, and I am not mentioning about how much I know of the bible.  Shame on me. My father stands first in Bible Quiz held at a city level, which also includes some nuns as participants and he did that some 7 or 8 years in a row. I digress again.
So today while assuring the senior coordinator that I will take care, I realized that the little children, the ones who are in grades  4 and below had no teacher and so I just out of curiosity thought of handling them.
First of all I realized if you had to get the attention of these kids, you need to be real good and its not simple.  So I had to add a lot of drama to my sessions. Lots of movements, lot of voice modulation, swaying and headshakes, and using my hands and literally my entire body and all my lessons that I learned over a period of time, as a Learning and Development professional had to put to good use to get it, and I did.
As per the lesson plan I had to teach them Creation and once I had their attention, I started telling them the story of creation.   I felt like a pied piper in front of those kids.  They taught me the meaning of optimistic curiosity, pure enthusiasm and sense of wonder -  they were swaying along with me, putting out their hands and loudly emoting when I asked them questions, with eyes that opened out like a saucers when I explained how god created the various animals and living things.  Their Jaws dropped when I narrated how God created Adam from clay and breathed life into him,  and it stayed that way for a long time ( the dropped jaws, open mouthed – you should have seen how cute they looked).  When I told Adam was an unhappy man since he had no company, their brows contracted, lips drooping down and had such a sad face, that I felt no wonder God created Eve for Adam.  And this was so different from the reaction you manage to get out of the grown ups in the IT industry.
I was so thoroughly enjoying this and I didn’t see how 45 minutes flew past in a jiffy, leaving me wide eyed, happy, content and blessed.  Infact, I had yet another reason to thank god for, today. Among other things.
Now you see, this is not what I signed up for.  :-)

Catechism classes : Classes conducted in the churches of predominantly, Roman catholic churches, to teach the principles of christian religion

Parish: A small administrative district in the catholic church typically having its own church and a priest.


  1. Awwww.. such a warm post.. especially the children and their expression part LOL... see how being an HR professional helps out in the most unexpected places... ha.. ha.. good job Vincy keep going girl....

  2. yeah Rekha you are right
    one really dont know when certain skills cone in handy at the right time. :-)

  3. I am sure you did a gr8 job, their expression said it all

  4. I think children are naturally curious and would be engaged if we know how to handle them well. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment Seema


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