My “Crash Course” as a Teacher

I’m on my way back from St. Louis, MO, having taught a class to the postulants of the Daughters of St. Paul about the Pauline mission. I’m looking forward to being back home and writing. But I really enjoyed getting to know the young women who are preparing to become Daughters of St. Paul.

What has this experience been like for me? I’ve never taught an extended class before–at most, a couple of hours of classes over a period of three days. I found that it takes a lot of energy to teach dynamically. I taught for a total of about 25 hours this week, and that doesn’t include the prep time, or meeting with the individual postulants on their projects. I hope that the way I taught the class “modeled” the pastoral communication that I was teaching. I tried to not only prepare the content/material in an organized and in-depth way, but also to create opportunities in the class for dialogue, interactivity, and immersion in the culture of communication. Overall (and I am still waiting for feedback), I think the class went well. But, perhaps because of the length or intensity of the classes, or the level of effort I put into teaching this subject for the first time, I find my energy ebbing pretty low now that class is over.

Of course, my fatigue could simply be my introverted self asserting my need for some writing time and some quiet!  Either way, it’s been a great week, but very tiring. (I hope not as tiring for my students!) I’m hoping that they will blog about their insights.

I am really looking forward to getting back to my writing. I just received some good news:  my editor emailed me to tell me that the books on the saints that I worked on last year are being edited next month. I don’t have a release date yet, but I do know that, after the editor makes her comments, I’ll be revising in February. It’s always great news to have a book manuscript take its next step forward!

That means that the rest of January needs to be a month full of writing! Right now (at the airport gate in St. Louis) that seems both very exciting and a little intimidating. I hope to spend the flight time in prayer and in getting back into a writing mode.

One last note: the talk and book-signing in St. Louis was a great success, thanks to the participants and the sisters who untiringly invited everyone! We had 23 people join us for the evening (plus the 10 sisters and postulants of the community), and my favorite participant was the infant who lay in the back (in her mother’s arms) and made just a few “comments” near the end.

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One thought on “My “Crash Course” as a Teacher

  1. I found teaching full time (as you know I had done a couple classes here and there) to be the most exhausting – both physically and mentally – work I have done. You are essentially on stage for hours at a time with little break. I am sure you did well as your feedback will attest. – Jim

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