Finding Balance as a Religion Teacher

boy balancing

Finding balance is a very important part of every catechist’s life. We are pulled in so many directions; giving of ourselves to our students requires that we keep our eyes on the Lord, our students, and ourselves too. How do I keep myself balanced and nourished?

When I was a college student, I looked forward to the camaraderie and time spent away from the busyness of college at our semester retreats. These three-day retreats were fun and spiritual. I always felt recharged. But now that I’m a seasoned teacher, finding time for a three-day retreat is nearly impossible. How do I maintain my balance and recharge?

First and foremost, I go to Mass. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. I find that each time I receive Christ’s Body and Blood, I am recharged. I am grateful to be able to celebrate the Eucharist with my students on a weekly basis.

I also draw strength from praying with my colleagues. We have a very brief Monday morning prayer where we offer intentions and pray the Hail Mary. Since every nook and cranny is used in our school, our meeting place is tucked away beneath the middle staircase. But remembering that the Lord said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them,” (Matthew 18:20) I know he is with us on those stairs.

Since I’m a huge fan of social media, I follow many Catholic blogs, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages. I find that a quick reminder of a quote from a saint or a Bible verse is so helpful to me. I even follow Pope Francis on Twitter. Every time he tweets, I’m alerted to his message.

Our archdiocese also provides an opportunity to grow in our faith through a series of classes known as School of Faith. We meet with a neighboring Catholic school eight times a year. We take lessons on the Catechism, we journal about a topic and discuss it with our tablemates, and we spend time in reflection and prayer.

How do you keep yourself balanced and nourished as a religion teacher?

For all who sense that there is a missing peace in their lives, Busy Lives & Restless Souls by Becky Eldredge will help them find it—right where they are.

About Barb Gilman 50 Articles
Barb Gilman is a wife, mother, and third-grade Catholic school teacher. She is the winner of the 2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award for the Plains States. Active on social media, @BarbinNebraska is the co-organizer of the #CatholicEdChat on Twitter.

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