Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples is theoretical, practical and a valuable contribution to Catholic education in this decade, a handbook for everyone involved in Catholic education. Groome's examples are personal and scriptural and, like always, his exegesis provides practical applications to value.
The recruitment of catechists is one of the most important responsibilities of a catechetical leader. It is an ongoing activity, always inviting individuals to find out more about being a catechist.
While many parishes focus their recruitment efforts in August and September, this is the time that all catechists should have already been recruited and have completed orientation, training and formation. At this time, catechists are now ready to welcome the children, youth, adults and families into the various programs for faith formation.
In order to achieve this ideal, catechetical leaders must see recruitment as an ongoing activity with special focus in spring and basic catechist education and formation in spring and summer.
An announcement at the end of Mass and in the parish bulletin is not effective. While it will alert the parish that there are various catechetical programs and that volunteers are needed, most people do not respond to a general and impersonal approach.
People will volunteer when they are personally invited. Instead of inviting people to be catechists, invite them to find out more about what it means to be a catechist. Invite them to a personal or small group gathering where they can learn what it’s all about – responsibilities, time commitment, education and formation, benefits.
People look forward to making a contribution. They want to do a good job, learn more about the faith, meet with others.
After the informational meeting, they will know what it is all about and be able to make an informed decision. When they say “yes” they can then begin their preparation and education.
As one educated in a liberal arts college, I am a firm believer in a well-rounded education. Since our God is a diverse God, a truly balanced education includes all aspects of knowing things, including science, art, philosophy, history, and music. In the classroom, our best lessons should reflect God’s diversity.
Though every sense, sight, taste, smell, sound, and touch, can be analyzed on its own, I will focus on my own area of expertise: music. At a young age, even in the womb, we are already making sense of what comes in through our ears, learning about sound. This curiosity does not seem to lesson as we age, for, from the young to aged individuals, the fascination with music is ever present. We surround ourselves with music in the car, in the workplace, in the liturgy, and in many celebrations like birthday parties and weddings. The fact is we like music.
By understanding how the brain works, educators can become better equipped to help students with everything from focusing attention to increasing retention. And with research in neurology, psychology, and technology growing, there is a whole world of new information just waiting to be applied to the classroom.
Edutopia's latest classroom resource guide on brain-based learning helps you do just that. Every tip included in the guide is backed by years of research. Click here to download this free brain-based learning classroom resource guide.
Six key tips are featured in this guide from neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators on how you can apply brain-based learning techniques in your classroom.
These tips can be adapted and included in the catechetical setting. Please share your ideas in the "Comments" section of this post.
One of the chief reasons teachers in any subject area give for leaving teaching after one, two or more years of teaching is problems with class management. Many individuals who have high ideals, strong intellectual ability, and a love of teaching leave their professions simply (or not so simply) because managing the class is more than they can handle. The reason parish catechists, like you, leave is no different.