The year I finally made it into level 1 formation was an interesting year to say the least.
I had recently switched parishes away from the local college chapel to the actual city parish. For many reasons, I needed a new dynamic.
I offered my services to the then-new DRE as catechist and I was placed as an assistant in an 8th grade class. Not counting the years I subbed for all levels, I had assisted 1st grade, taught 5th grade, 3rd grade, then preschool for several years. So it was good to get back to working with middle schoolers (I had done scouting work with adolescents previously, not church related).
My son, then age 1, was invited to "join" the preschool class. The preschool and kindergarten classes both met in what used to be the nursery - the largest room in the old school building, with built-in shelving - all the toys were still present, as well as storage bins of items that belonged to an old MOPS group that no longer met there. So lots of toys and two classes meeting in the same room. The DRE figured that my son could play with the toys while two teachers (about age 18-19) taught Kindergarten and one lady (a mom) taught the 3 and 4 year old preschoolers.
|Our original altar (left) and Good Shepherd (right)|
I later made an altar of appropriate height; adding boxes
for a sacristy cabinet to the bottom side of the old
changing table (far left edge)
Did I mention all the nursery toys and TWO classes of young wiggly children in the same room at the same time? With two teaching styles? And singing when one class is praying quietly, vice-versa???? Yeah.
The DRE asked me if I would co-teach, based on my past experience. Sure. The 8th grade teacher could get by without an aid.
I slowly introduced CGS presentations in those first months, presenting as I received presentations and made materials from that month's session, but mostly I was working with my daycare children at home.
|My first city of Jerusalem.|
It now resides (sans walls) in a brand-new level 3 atrium.
8 years later. Notice the HUGE error I made in that first map?
Yep. No wonder I was confused as I made it ;)
|Altar extension work and pasting boxes.|
We later picked up "shoe shelves" at Wal-Mart to hold such items.
Now (years later) these items should be found in the art area,
per latest recommendations.
|My first chasubles and stoles!|
(now in local parish's level 2 atrium)
Hanging on cardboard stands (now defunct)
You can see the shoe shelves added to the altar work
in the background (these photos were taken at many
My co-teacher stayed for the rest of the year, but decided it wasn't for her after all. She was uncomfortable with the lit candles despite having additional helpers in the room specifically for the candles; and we had an authority issue with her two boys and my son. So the following year I had a different assistant who took over when I left.
The children had so many amazing responses. I will share them on this blog here and there.
|Our original art supply area.|
My first atrium. So incomplete - and so perfect. Oh to go back to such simplicity - and a fair amount of innocence and naivete. It was pure observe and response. So beautiful.
|Opposite (better) view of the sacristy,|
before it got it's boxes/shelving on the right side of it.
We also had coat-hooks along the front wall; and a couch with a small reading selection for free reading. There are another 2 built-in shelf sections that are not shown here either. These photos show about 1/3 of our available space. It was big and beautiful!
|Infancy Narratives (see the parables to the right and |
second practical life section to the far left)
Tracing packets above right.
Sorting art images of the Narratives above left.
My son is intently working on SOMETHING with the Nativity.
|So proud of his work|
|Sample extensions given by a nearby atrium to get us started.|
|I still have this chart somewhere.|
Not as pretty as the ones I make now!
But all handmade - no photocopying!
Those were the days....
|The beginnings of practical life.|
There was no practical place for this work, so the
corner of the room sufficed - we laid out a clear vinyl
mat during class for the children to work with water.