I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Prayer Overhaul...But not mine this time...

Thank God for Lent. (And thank God it's coming soon.)

There are a number of areas in my life that need a little "fixing up," but tonight I want to focus on Lent for my middle school religion classroom.

From the start of the year until now, I have been asking students to sign up to lead prayer each day. The 6th grade classes usually show a video, while 7th and 8th grades usually do petitions and prayer.

All was well...for a time. But as of late, prayer has been getting a little out of hand. A number of students (in each of the various classes) have not been treating our prayer time with the reverence it deserves.

And I've been struggling with how to handle this...but I know I need to address it...and soon.

So, as I said before, thank God for Lent. (This is my chance to change it up!)

Here are my thoughts for prayer leader requirements in each grade level - each student will now be required to lead prayer independently (though, they can opt out by not leading prayer at all if they are not comfortable):

8th - Saint of the Day
Since these students are receiving Confirmation next Friday, they each have a Saint name they will be taking, as per the Sacrament requirements. What I envision is each student preparing a short tidbit and/or leading us in a prayer to the Saint on his/her assigned day. My goal in this is that students learn more about their own Saints as well the Saints of their classmates, all the while trying a new prayer experience for Lent.

7th & 6th - Alternate between write your own prayer and Sacred Space
Lent should be a different feel from the routine. As of late, students have fallen into patterns of leading prayer, sometimes for the best and other times for the worst (behavior-wise). Having a bit more structure and a more serious tone should help students better enter into this solemn season. (We may also take some days doing contemplation/mandalas or guided meditation.)

Wish me luck - this overhaul is much needed...

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