Expect the Unexpected

This week in third-grade faith formation class, we were to introduce the students to the seven Sacraments, focusing on two of the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism and Confirmation. Excited to share this lesson, I brought pictures of my own Baptism and Confirmation to show the children. We had barely started with class prayer and introducing the […]

How Do You Approach Lesson Planning?

How do you plan your lessons for faith formation sessions? The majority of us catechists don’t hold education degrees, so we likely don’t have much, if any, formal training in lesson planning. A good catechetical textbook with a teacher’s manual may outline ways to approach each lesson. This can be a great starting point, especially […]

Four Reasons Movement Is Important for Catechists

I wear a pedometer to track the number of steps I take daily. It’s a fitness reminder, but I was surprised to notice that in one recent class period I had added almost 2,000 steps to my count! I knew I moved around a lot during class, but this was near one mile, which was […]

10 Ways for Catholic School Teachers to Reinforce Catholic Identity Outside of Religion Class

I recently did a presentation on Catholic identity for the Catholic school teachers of the Diocese of Worcester, MA. Realizing that a portion of my audience was made up of teachers who do not teach religion class, I focused on ways that teachers in any subject area can reinforce Catholic identity in their learning environment in […]

A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan: It Is Right and Just

A few years ago, I developed a lesson plan on the theme of thanksgiving titled “It Is Right and Just.” It is packed with ideas, so you will probably have to pick and choose how much of it you actually hope to/think you can accomplish in the time you have during your sessions between now […]

Heaven Is in the Details

One Sunday, as I was preparing my classroom for the arrival of my second graders, the popular saying “The devil is in the details” came to mind. I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for my class and attending to every little detail. I noticed that I began to worry: Is my […]

Journey through Jerusalem

Living in the Boston suburbs, my students have the privilege of regularly visiting many of our nation’s important historical sites. As much of a blessing as this is, it also makes it more difficult for them to conceptualize the setting of the important events in their faith heritage. I have been challenged by the task […]

Preparing My Heart and Mind: Four Ways to Get Ready for the Classroom

My three kids are back in school and I’m preparing to head back to the parish classroom as a third-grade catechist. It would be easy for me to overlook preparing for the class since I’ve been teaching the same grade for a few years, but I know that this would be a huge mistake. Just […]

Setting Goals for Successful Catechesis

You’ve arrived at the first catechist meeting of the year just in the nick of time. Your DRE hands you your catechist book, your class roster, and a list of expectations for the year. At the end of the meeting, your DRE wishes you the best of luck. You gather your things, head back to […]

Pray, Plan, and Prepare

Here I go again! I’m starting my twelfth year of teaching third grade. Each year produces new challenges, joys, and adventures with my students. Even though I approach the new year knowing that my class will be different from previous ones, I always prepare in the same way. I always begin by praying for my […]