I have been very hesitant to share about my classes. Many of my students check the blog and I didn’t want them to feel as if I was telling “their business” to the world. But I just have to share about last Thursday.
Religion in Life is a general education course that many students at CU HAVE to take. I have two sessions. One class has 33 students, the other has 19. So far in the semester, the classes have been ho-hum and somewhat lifeless. I have been struggling with how to communicate and teach them so that they are excited, if not pumped, to be there. I want to engage and interact.
I had tried several things but have been failing miserably. Then last Thursday something hit me. I had been teaching a lot of Religion, but not so much about Life. So I flipped the switch on them (that is a new slang term I learned which means to “mix it up”). I turn all their chairs around so that they were facing each other. Not quite a big circle, but way more eye contact. And we talked.
We talked about family struggles, forgiveness, conflict, overcoming challenges and how to deal with life’s struggles. We took the stories of Moses and Joseph and made them our own. Students started sharing about their experiences and life stories. Some spoke of the difficulties they had overcome from abuse to divorce to families splitting up.
The walls of our class started to fall. We had the first REAL CLASS of the semester. There was a revived spirit of connection and community. I actually got to be their teacher, not just the guy in the front of the class who does all the talking. Just like Joshua, there is victory when the walls come tumbling down.