Throughout my many years of being educated, one of the most frustrating things I have encountered is teachers who know less about their topic than me.

It happened to me in CCD and it has happened to me several times in college. The way I see it, I pay good money to get educated, I don’t pay to teach or correct the mistakes of an incompetent teacher.

These teachers come in several sorts:
1) those who don’t know and know they don’t know
2) those who don’t know and think they know
3) those who know and still teach errors.

At various times I have had teachers of all three sorts. The first sort I pity. They have most likely been placed in a situation where they don’t want to be or a place they are unprepared for.

The second sort frustrates me. They really think the dreck they say is pearls of wisdom. They can’t figure out why I don’t hang on their every word.

The third sort angers me. They know the truth and intentionally teach the opposite for one reason or another.

While all three are dangerous, the last two are the worst. For the most part, the first type is the most likely to be open to fraternal correction. The second will not, and the third will see anyone giving correction as the opposition.

My 8th grade CCD teacher was of that third sort. He seemed to be on a mission to destroy any faith we had in the Church.

He told us about how the pastor used parish funds to buy brand new cars and expensive clothes. He presented the bishop as a dictator who abused his power and had no faith.

Finally he told us that Jesus didn’t want the Church, He wanted us to come to Him directly.

I saw my classmates getting more and more intrigued by the fanciful stories and I watched as they began to turn against the Church.

He was the first teacher I ever confronted. One day I couldn’t take it any longer and I told the teacher he was wrong and his stories were lies. Then I told he that I was going to go to the pastor.

That was when he threatened to tell the pastor that I was a troublemaker and was telling lies about him because I had gotten in trouble in class. Apparently, he thought he would be believed over me because he was older.

I walked out of the classroom, out of the school, and over to the rectory. I returned a few minutes later with the pastor who told the teacher to leave immediately and never come back. His final words to me were, “You think you won, but I will destroy you”.

Now I am in charge of a religious ed program and people, including my boss, don’t understand why I spot check classrooms. The reality is that I place the kids in the hands of the teachers and will most likely never know if something wrong is being taught otherwise. It would be great if every teacher was qualified and trustworthy but much of the time we take who we can get.

So, I watch and try to correct errors and educate my teachers. To my 8th grade CCD teacher: Thanks for opening my eyes to the importance of good catechesis and for inspiring me to fight those who attempt to denegrate God’s Holy Church. Christ will always be victorious and I am on His team.