You already have an image of what a well-managed learning environment looks like, and it, no doubt, has a lot to do with the way in which you were educated as a child. It may even resemble the classroom of your favorite teacher. What is your image? Take a few minutes to think about it. Use the worksheet on page ? to describe it. What do you see? What is the teacher doing? What are the students doing? What does the class itself look like?
Introduction: This article highlights the importance of words and how it affects our feelings and practices. Dan Pierson
Years ago, I was in a car with a music promoter. He had picked me up at the airport and was driving me to my hotel before my performance. On the way, we talked guitars. We got onto the subject of Olson Guitars, arguably the best guitar in the whole world. At one point, the promoter said, "Yea, well, in my entire life I'll never own an Olson guitar."
There was a time when I'd let a remark like this slide on by, even adding my own "me either" to the mix.
Now, I can't.
So, I turned to the promoter and said, "You are NOT allowed to say that!"
This is because I know the power of language. When you understand that words become things, you just can't let language slide.
Now, I have a rule I live by:
Friends don't let friends speak crappily.
Your language is a powerful tool! Words create reality. Even if my promoter friend doesn't know how on earth he'd ever get his guitar, it doesn't mean he should cut off the possibility with his own words.
If you're wondering how to begin watching your words, here are 7 rules for getting what you want!
1 - Eliminate "never" and "always."
Never and always are words of hysteria. "I always mess everything up!" "I'll never figure this out!" "I'll never get an Olson Guitar."
First off, it's not true. If you always messed everything up, you wouldn't have made it out of the womb.
And second off, extreme words are designed to hook you. It's just your emotions taking a joyride. You're more powerful than that.
2 - Use AND instead of BUT.
"But" dismisses the statement before it. "And" includes it. For instance, "That's a good article, but it needs some editing" isn't nearly as encouraging as "That's a good article, AND it needs some editing."
"I love you, but..." is another great example of the dismissive power of "but."
3 - Avoid "Should."
Should is a heinous word for many reasons.
"Should" is victim-speak. It disempowers its object. It negates desires, thereby making it harder to make choices. It adds a nebulous energy to the decision-making process.
Use empowered language instead: "I could..." "I would..." "I am choosing to," "I would like to," "I don't want to," or "You might consider..."
4 - Stop calling yourself depressed.
Also stop allowing anyone to tell you that you are depressed. When you call yourself "depressed" or "obsessive compulsive" or "ADHD" or whatever - you're claiming this thing. You're calling it forth with the most powerful two words in our language: "I am." Stop claiming anything you don't want to be!
5 - Delete the word "hate" from your vocabulary.
"Hate" has lots of energy. When you use it, you send lots of energy out into the very thing you "hate." Even if it's negative energy, it's still a powerful force, adding its charge to that thing. You're also depleting this energy from your own spirit as you say it.
6 - Be "great." Or "wonderful."
A disease of the creative temperament is a belief that we must be authentic at all costs. So we can't answer a simple "How are you?" without delving into an in-depth scan of our emotional temperature.
Try this instead: When people ask you how you're doing, just say, "I'm great!"
I used to think if said this, then I better have a darn good reason for saying it, like I just won the lottery or something. I thought it would make me look suspicious, and people would start to wonder if something was wrong with me. But then I did it.
And you know what? Most people don't care why you're great. You're saying it for YOU.
7 - Pay attention to the music of your speech.
You know how some people? They talk in question marks? And you have no idea why? But it makes you think you shouldn't really rely on them? And it makes you not want to hire them?
The music of your language says a lot about you. If you let your sentences droop like Eeyore, ("Thanks for noticing me.") or if you do the uncertain question mark language, take note of what attitudes are causing this. These patterns are created for a reason. Even if it feels like faking it at first, generate confidence as you speak.
Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at http://christinekane.com.
"I don't understand it. The techniques my parents used so effectively just don't seem to work with kids today." Does this statement sound familiar to you? A lot of parents today are wondering what to do with their kids and are frustrated because the old techniques just don't seem to get the job done.
Parents want to enjoy their kids, have fun with them, and enjoy a less stressful family life. But even if their kids are trouble-free right now, they fear what the coming teenage years will bring.
At no time in history have parents been more unsure of their parental role. Even the best are not all that sure about whether they are using the best techniques. They say that their kids don't appear to be much like the ones they knew in years past.
A lot of conflicting philosophies have been presented over the last 30 years. Many of these sound good, but don't seem to do the job of helping children become respectful, responsible, and a joy to be around.
Many ideas, offered with the best of intentions, center around making sure that kids are comfortable and feeling good about themselves in order to have a good self- concept. However, we have discovered that self-confidence is achieved through struggle and achievement, not through someone telling you that you are number one. Self-confidence is not developed when kids are robbed of the opportunity to discover that they can indeed solve their own problems with caring adult guidance.
There is, however, an approach to raising kids that provides loving support from parents while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible.
This program is known as Parenting with Love and Logic, a philosophy founded by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D., and based on the experience of a combined total of over 75 years working with and raising kids.
Sample packet of 9 full-color, tri-fold brochures, with easy-to-read summaries of kindergartner through eighth graders' common emotional, social, physical, and cognitive characteristics—one for each grade, K–8. Each opens to an 11 × 17" chart containing information about the three typical ages for that grade (for example, ages 4, 5, and 6 for kindergartners).
Share these pamphlets with all catechists for learning about developmentally appropriate teaching. Also available in Spanish.
On a regular basis over the past two decades I've had the joy of meeting with a group of men for faith-sharing. Inevitably, one topic is sure to emerge: the faith-life of their adult children and grandchildren. I always try to reassure them that if they themselves remain constant in the practice of their faith, without even needing to "preach" about it, sooner or later their adult children will come back to the practice of the faith. Sometimes it's only after people "leave home" (the Church) that they begin to recognize what they've lost and they return.
For those of us who are the "elders," the challenge is remaining faithful, praying fervently and waiting patiently. The consistency of our witness speaks more than thousands of words and will invite and challenge others to want to know and experience what (or better "who") gives us meaning and hope - Jesus Christ.
Msgr. John Zenz Pastor, Holy Name Parish, Birmingham, MI
Former Director of Relegious Education for the Archdiocese of Detroit
Frederick blushed, took a bow, and said shyly, "I know it."
Leo Leonni, Frederick
Frederick was not a catechist. He was a field mouse in a chatty family of field mice. But he was a special field mouse because he was called to a special task. While the other members of his family worked day and night to gather corn and nuts and wheat and straw for the long cold winter, Frederick gathered sun rays, colors and words. Somehow he knew that these were going to be important, and they were. When the corn and nuts and wheat were gone, Frederick, through his words, was able to bring the warming rays of the sun and the beautiful colors of the blue periwinkles and red poppies to help his family survive the winter. Frederick, the poet, knew from the beginning what he was doing.
What Is a Catechist?
Before we can begin to talk about working smarter, you need to ask yourself what it is that you are expected to do as a catechist. Like Frederick, you need to know from the outset what your role is. The term catechist has a long history in the Church, but it is not a word that is often used in everyday conversation. When you were being recruited by your parish or school to be a catechist, you, no doubt, understood it to mean a religion teacher. You were right. To be a catechist is to be a teacher, but a teacher with a special task.
The term catechist comes from a Greek word meaning "to echo." The Church has the responsibility of handing on the faith, of echoing the Word of God, to its own generation and to succeeding generations. This is the catechetical ministry. In the early church if one assumed this task, he or she was called a catechist, a person responsible for echoing the message of Jesus to the community. Today, as in the past, people actively involved in the formal ministry of handing on the faith are called catechists. By choosing to become involved in your parish or school's religious education (catechetical) program, you became a catechist in this long tradition. You assumed the responsibility of handing on the Catholic
From Working Smarter, Not Harder: A Catechist's Survival Guide by Tom and Rita Walters. c) 2011
Do you remember going for an evening ride in the car when you were a young child?Chances are you spotted the moon and watched as it “followed” the car right into the garage.As the years progressed and your level of cognition developed, your understanding of the solar system also expanded.Each person passes through similar stages of development.As a catechist, it’s important to be familiar with a student’s stage of cognitive development as well as his/her stage of faith.
Young children are very literal and learn best through concrete activities.Even though they can be very verbal, they are not miniature adults and are not capable of thinking as adults.As children grow and mature, their thought process becomes more abstract and their concept and experience of the world changes as well.Faith experience also evolves.
One of the most well-known studies of cognitive development was done by Jean Piaget.His listing of stages begins with the Sensory Motor Period (0-24 months), followed by The Preoperational Period (2-7 years), Period of Concrete Operations (7-12 years) and finally the Period of Formal Operations (12 years and up).Specific characteristic of each stage can easily be found online or through other research tools.
A framework of the Stages of Faith has been suggested by Dr. James Fowler and closely relates to the work of Piaget.Fowler begins with the fantasy-filled, imitative phase, which focuses on imagination and transitions through various stages into adulthood.This information can also be accessed online.
Why is this important to a catechist and why take the time to do the research?Simply because awareness of development helps a catechist approach a topic or meet an objective in a way that will be meaningful and relevant to a child’s life.