Every time I work with Catholic schools, I always face the dillemma of working towards getting my clients to best access the curriculum. I have that challenge with all kids, but it gets that one step trickier when the curriculum includes Religion. And not just religion as an exploration of the concepts of religion, but teaching it as a truth and a given.
Starting with being confronted with a “Good morning, Fiona and may god bless you”, I really have to step back and remember what it is I’m trying to achieve here. From learning from the teachers “So, what DO you actually want them to learn from this class” (often we can break it down to of course teh faith side, but then the representation of friends, family and so on) to then working towads getting teh kids to understand what it is.
Today I showed up at a school just in time for a morning prayer circle. Each child said a prayer, the passed the cross around. Myself, and two boys, being the only ones who passed the cross onto the next person without uttering anything. Spending that time as a good way to see how my client engaged, then moving on to the Relious Education (RE) activity – generating ideas of how to have a liturgy around Peace and Joy. So while the group I sat with worked away, I got “language-y” on them. Probing their understanding of the meaning of Peace and of Joy. Looking at how they worked on their brainstorming, on their generation of ideas around symbols and such. Just have to focus on what I want to be getting from this. And what language things the kids actually are!
And, to quote Lisa Simpson (I think) “They made me their Queen!” – I’m doing our Branch’s President role this year for Speech Pathology Australia, which I’ll hopefully learn a lot doing – such as all the public speaking, leadership and lobbying type skills I’ll need to actually do the role. Plus, I get to go to Melbourne in February for a meeting. Sweet! :)