Four Small Changes to Revitalize Parish Life

Editor’s note: This week we’re thinking about small changes we can make for a big year in ministry. When I first came to the United States, I was eager to sample the rich food that was new and unfamiliar to me. And so I indulged and over-indulged. To my surprise I found that, one day, I could no longer button my jeans comfortably! “How had this happened?” I thought. Certainly it didn’t happen overnight; it […]

Small Changes for a Big Year: Keeping Our New Year’s Resolutions Real

With the new year upon us, many of us are undertaking New Year’s resolutions, which is all well and good. Unfortunately, many of our resolutions fall by the wayside within a few weeks for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that many of them are simply unrealistic! When it comes to making changes in our habits, the changes need to be realistic and incremental, lest we become overwhelmed and give up […]

Simple Classroom Review Games

Using games in my faith formation class brings an element of fun that results in both engagement and positive responses from the children. At the beginning of almost every session, one of the children will ask, “Are we going to play a game today?” My answer is often “Yes.” Any catechist can take a simple list of questions or vocabulary words and use these for classroom review games with little or no preparation. I like […]

Holding On to the Light of Christ: An Idea for Your Faith Formation Sessions

I have been and always will be an advocate for integrating a “language of mystery” into our faith formation sessions—using signs, symbols, rituals, music, movement, silence, and so on to deepen our awareness of the mysterious presence of Christ in our midst. The following idea flows from that commitment but also has value as a practical, pedagogical tool to enhance the experience of reading from a textbook. I have written before about the role of […]

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

Welcome to the final 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 take learners where they are and move them […]

Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach: High School

Today we continue our series, Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach, 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 take learners where they are and move them to the next step in […]

Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach: Junior High

Welcome to another 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 means that we need to take learners where they are and move them to the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

Welcome to this installment of Entering Through Their Door & Knowing the Age Group You Teach, a series in which we look at 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 take learners where they are and move them to the next […]

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