Do you sit still when you teach? I can’t and almost never do. Part of it is just my own style…I like to move around. But I also recommend it to catechists for several reasons. One, I think it keeps kids more engaged if you are “on the move.” Visually, if you are moving around, you are creating a sense of energy and enthusiasm. If you’re sitting still, it is more likely to look tired. Two, I think it is a good tool for handling discipline. If you are moving around, you can more easily intercept bad behavior without interrupting the flow of your lesson. Cutting the distance between you and your students (creating proximity) reduces their ability to “get away” with anything. Finally, I just find that moving around keeps my adrenaline flowing and makes me more alert and creative. What about you? What’s your usual M-O?
About Joe Paprocki 2759 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.
As a Finding God user, I like to keep as quiet and as prayerful an atmosphere as I can. I generally sit in a chair in front of the desk and stay there. I can see all the advantages of moving around, but I just don’t think it fits my style.
I like sitting in a circle. I find it helps keep kids focused for discussions. I also prefer having students seated around a big table(s) for other activities (writing, workbooks, crafts etc). Then I keep moving around.
I like the circle idea too but the classroom I teach in does not allow for that. If I had a circle, I probably would sit, but with desks in rows, I feel the need to be mobile.
Very often I am up and down along with the children. With first graders their attention span isn’t very long, so I like to keep the activities to a minimum of 15 minutes. We have some singing and acting with each lesson.
Kathy, I bet you get a workout keeping up with the little ones!
Similar to Kathy, I have pre-k and k. Unfortunately, it isn’t unusual for only one to show up, though. So that kid gets some serious one on one attention. Which means I’m more likely to sit beside that child for the entire time of our lesson.