Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes in stained glass
Mary and the Saints

A Lesson from St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes: Experience First

Bernadette Soubirous was a young girl of 14 when Our Lady appeared to her, about the age of the young people in my class. She didn’t have much education, but still she was chosen to receive the visions of Lourdes. St. Bernadette helps me to remember that it’s about the experience first. While it’s important to know the facts of our faith and be able to articulate what we believe, first there must be an […]

Saint Peter in stained glass
Mary and the Saints

A Little Lesson for Me as a Catechist from St. Peter

Perched as we are on the doorstep of All Saints Day (Nov. 1), I thought it would be a good opportunity for several of us catechists to share some little lessons we have learned from the saints, inspired by the book Little Lessons from the Saints by my friend and Loyola Press colleague Bob Burnham. I always remind catechists that we are never alone when we teach: the Communion of Saints has our back. I often […]

A Prayer for Catechists - text next to icons indicating forms of prayer
Being a Catechist

A Prayer for Catechists: Shine the Light

This prayer originally appeared in my book, The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher. Download a PDF version of the prayer here. See the related article: Shining the Spotlight on Those We Teach.

teacher talk bubbles illustration
Approaches/Techniques

Three Ways to Reduce Teacher Talk

Here are a few easy ways to simplify your communication in the classroom. [Find more ways to reduce teacher talk in The Adaptive Teacher.] Awareness and effort: Listen to yourself while giving instructions, and become more aware of the amount of verbiage you use. Ask yourself, How can I say this in fewer words? You’ll be amazed at how many extra, needless words are in your instructions. Become more comfortable with silence: Catechists and teachers […]

intermediate age children standing against wall
Understanding Kids

Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach: Intermediate Grades

Welcome to this installment of Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach, a series in which we look at the developmental stages of our learners. St. Ignatius of Loyola said that, when teaching or speaking to a group, it is always best to “enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door.” His advice is that we need to meet learners where they are and move them to […]

Primary

Intermediate

Junior High