Today’s post is all about Webinars! First, here is a link to the recording of last week’s Webinar, Getting Started as a Catechist, Part One.

Second, here is a link to register for Getting Started as a Catechist, Part Two, which will take place on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Finally, continuing our follow-up from Getting Started as a Catechist, Part One, here are some more Q & A:



Q:  Do you have suggestions on how to get 7th graders engaged in class? ­

A:  Sue, getting junior high students engaged in class can be a challenge. By the same token, they come with a great deal of energy and imagination that, if we can tap into, we can use to our advantage. I recommend that you start by looking at the following post that should help you to get a better grasp on the mindset of a 7th grader! [Post not available.]



Q: ­When you are team-teaching, are there any hints you may have to plan lessons together with your fellow catechist? (I teach eighth grade)­

A:  Oswald, team-teaching can be a bit like ball-room dancing…if you’re not in sync, you’ll end up stepping on one another’s toes! As in dancing, the key is to communicate, to stick to your part, and to try to develop a rhythm together. It’s good for team teachers to sit down together and chat about each other’s styles. Then, strive to work together to lay out a basic outline of each session, dividing up roles and staying in communication with one another to make sure details are being tended to. Of course, another approach is for each of you to take turns planning and facilitating sessions, relying on the other to be of assistance and for keeping discipline. That can get a little boring, however, when it’s not your turn to lead. Team teaching is very doable and I have no doubt that you’ll figure out how to make it work for you and your teaching partner.



Comment: ­try flash cards that you can use in class, and send home with them….­



Q: ­What type of pre-test do you recommend? How do you evaluate your progress?­

A:  Drew, a pre-test should be the same as the post-test, so that you can clearly evaluate progress. In my own classes, I often do some less formal assessing of progress by giving short 3-5 question quizzes at the start of class that refer back to the previous lesson. I don’t record grades on these, but rather use them as a way of reviewing the previous week and moving into the current week. As for a formal assessment, take a look at this post that describes what I did last year. https://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2009/01/27/successful-assessment/


Kayla and Brittany

Q: ­are there free resources online movies music etc.­

A: Kayla and Brittany, for movies, take a look at http://www.wingclips.com/. For music, take a look at http://www.cornerstonemedia.org/.



Q: With our Grade 6 class, we have a list of prayers for the students to memorize by the end of the year. What can I do to make the students more motivated to learn these prayers?­

A: Brendan, help the young people to think of the prayers as family heirlooms, passed along from generation to generation. Bring in an example of your own and ask kids to talk about family heirlooms they have. Give some background on the prayers you are teaching and talk about how they have been handed on from generation to generation, helping people to talk to God in good times and bad. Provide time in class for the kids to take some of these prayers to heart (memorize) instead of just assigning them as homework. Best wishes….I think it’s important to help the kids embrace these prayers.



Q: First time catechist…any advice/tips (in a couple words) from all you experienced catechist’s?­

A:  Nancy, welcome! I recommend you take a look at the numerous comments that came in to the online retreat I did a year or so ago…lots of sage advice and insights from many catechists as they introduce themselves and throughout! https://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2009/08/14/bookmark-the-online-retreat-for-catechists-to-use-during-the-year/



About Joe Paprocki 2742 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.


  1. Hi fellow catechists, I have taught religious education to high school students for twenty four years. One of the key messages of Joe’s seminar last week was to start where the students are at and move them to where you would like them to explore. I cannot say enough about the audio-visual resources at outside da box (video) and cornerstone media(music). You can use the resources here for prayer to begin class and you will have the students hooked. Enjoy your new year ahead. Thanks for being such a great community of believers.

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