Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Teenage Apathy: What Can I Do?

I teach seminary here in the Park Slope ward in Brooklyn. There are four students that come regularly. Soon there will be three (one family moves to Florida in a few weeks). That leaves me with two from one family and one from another. These are good kids and are well supported by their solid families. It makes me very grateful for the support that I had as a teenager.

Here's the problem: there is one that doesn't care much to be there and I don't know what to do.

This student hasn't attended in almost two weeks and just told me tonight on the phone that what s/he objects to is getting up so early to talk about God. S/he's not into it. I can dig that. What teenager is excited to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to talk about religion? A few people that I've told (outside of our religion) about seminary, think they are crazy? "...these are TEENAGERS that are doing this?" is what I hear. I know, it's crazy. So I can understand his/her feelings.

I haven't worked very much with the youth, so I haven't mastered the art of the cool-and-inspiring-leader role. I work terribly hard at making each lesson interesting and I think I do a pretty decent job (especially considering I work part time and am doing grad school full time). They remaining students have told me how much more they have learned this year than in past years. But even with that good feedback, I still wonder if I'm doing everything I can.

Enter readers of this blog.

This is a plea for your help. If any of you have any experiences or any insight that might help me, please speak. I would appreciate it more than you may know.