The kids are alright

Feb 10th, 2006 | By | Category: Ireland

My primary school teacher always warned that people who were lazy would be found out. For a while this morning, I thought her words were going to be proved true.

After prayers with the whole school on a Friday morning, I usually take Sixth Class (the 12 year olds) in our National School for 40-45 minutes of Religious Education.

We do a lot of Bible work; in many cases this is the only contact they have with the Bible. But during this half term, we have been looking at issues of right and wrong.

This morning, being the last morning before the mid-term break, I hadn’t much prepared for the class. Generally we do quite a lot of written work, because that’s the only way to try to keep order for someone like me, not a teacher by profession or inclination. This morning all I had was a sheet of paper with six imaginary news stories.

There was no school assembly this morning, because a Government official was going around each classroom. So at 9.05 I was in the classroom, fifteen minutes earlier than usual without enough material prepared. The class teacher said, ‘€œI’ll be back at ten o’clock’. Suddenly the primary school warning came back to me. How would we mange to have a class discussion for more than fifty minutes?

We handed out the sheets of stories and I prayed for inspiration!

Each story was read and we discussed the issues it raised;€“ respect, honesty, work, the environment, responsibility, and some issues I hadn’t even anticipated

At ten o’clock the teacher came back into the room and I had to curtail discussion of the final story.

The teacher asked what we had been doing and I said, ‘€œWe had class discussion’.

‘€œThe whole time’ She said, ‘€œYou’re braver than I thought’.

‘€œNot brave’, I thought, ‘€œjust lazy!’

But it was amazing how willing were kids of a generation, who we are told relate only to electronic devices, to sit and talk sensibly about what was right and what was wrong and what were our responsibilities.

All the same, I think I’ll have plenty prepared for the next class.

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