Friday, June 17, 2016
It is generally conceded that much of a teacher’s expertise- some would say most- comes from real classroom experiences. However, although experience is a necessary condition for teacher expertise it is not a sufficient one (Lambert & Clark, 1990). If teacher experience heightens a teachers expertise and understanding then it must be reflected on, analyzed, and used to improve practice. It is the constant cycle of experience, reflection, and improvement that marks a teacher’s growth and development; teachers do learn by doing, but only if they reflect upon, critique, and base future actions on knowledge gained by past experiences (Airasian & Gullickson, 1994).
It is that time of the year again, time for you as a catechist to do a self-examination to see how well you are teaching. To find out whether or not you are a good teacher, researchers say that one of the best ways is to use evaluative questions that force catechists to evaluate themselves. In doing this catechists can assess what they know, do not know, and what they would like to know so they can become better teachers. After they self-evaluate they will be able to set goals that they feel they can attain with the new knowledge they have about themselves.
Self Evaluation: Are You A Good Teacher?
Another year of CCD is behind us and now is the time to think about what you will do next year. Preparation is necessary prior to CCD starting and during the summer it is the right time for the catechist to begin. With thorough planning before hand, the catechist will have an easier time and the students will learn to their fullest potential.
Time To Think- Since CCD is over for most it is time to think of what will be needed for the next school year. What will you be doing? What will you need? What worked, what didn’t? Did you learn from your mistakes? These questions and more will inundate the catechist the next few weeks. Before you know it, classes will be starting again and you need to be prepared. This overwhelming task is examined and planning should be done way before so you can be ready and prepared.
CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook- To establish what the responsibilities are for the CCD student and the parent(s) it is a good idea to have a CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook. The handbook can specify the rules and regulations that the students and parent(s) must follow so there will be no misunderstandings. Having a handbook allows the CCD program to run smoothly and without any problems. It can also inform how the CCD program plans to educate your child and answer many questions that the parents might have.
CCD Registration Form- Before a student can attend CCD, the parents must fill out a registration form. The form differs from parish to parish, but most are relatively the same. Posted are what registration forms may consist of as well as some tips and suggestions.
CCD Volunteer Form- Before a person can volunteer to help in the religious education at your parish, they must fill out and sign a Volunteer Form. By having prospective volunteers fill out this form it will let them know what help is needed and what the responsibilities are for that particular job. It can also inform them what is required to be able volunteer at the parish. Tips and suggestions of what can be included in this form are posted.
Catechist Handbook- It is a good idea to have a Catechist Handbook to acquaint volunteer catechists with the policies and procedures in the Religious Formation Program. The Catechist Handbook will clearly define what the responsibilities are for the catechist and the procedures that they are to follow.
Catechist Training- Most dioceses and/or parishes require some kind of catechist training before they can teach a class each year. By providing assistance and training to all catechists before CCD starts it will prepare the catechist so they can be an effective teacher. Certified catechist should also participate in the training because no catechist can know everything and they could also benefit from new ideas and activities. Suggestions of what can be in the catechist training is posted.
CCD Open House- Before CCD starts it is a good idea to have an Open House. The ideas posted should be helpful and allow you to have a great CCD Open House.
Parent Volunteers in Your Classroom- Volunteers in your CCD classroom can be a blessing IF done correctly and IF it is planned ahead. Nothing is worse than having a volunteer not know what to do or be in the way. Here are tips that should be done to have a good volunteer program in your classroom.
Classroom Newsletters- Classroom newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with parents and help them be a part of their child's education. Parent’s love to know what is going on in their child’s classroom and frequent and regular class newsletters enable parents to sense the feeling and momentum of the class and gain insight into what their child is learning.
Parent Involvement in CCD- Since parents and guardians are the primary teachers of the Faith their involvement in CCD is vital. Without it the child will not learn to their fullest potential. Tips are posted on how to get parents involved in CCD.
Classroom Assignment Sheets- An organized student stays current on assignments and will achieve success in CCD. Assignment Sheets help students develop sound organization skills that will teach them a successful lifelong journey through school and CCD. Parents and students like having assignments written down so they can keep track of them and a good way of doing it is having a Classroom Assignment Sheet.
What should a catechist do when they are absent?- From time to time a catechist must be absent for various reasons. When this happens a substitute must take over your classroom and be able to teach your students. Here are some tips and suggestions that every catechist should do if they are absent so your class can run smoothly and your students will learn to their fullest potential.
What makes a good catechist?- Tips on how to be a good catechist.
What do students like to do in CCD?- The key to being a good catechist is knowing what your students like to do in CCD. Here are some tips and suggestions for activities to do in the classroom that are age appropriate.
Teacher Tools- A teacher’s time is limited and to be an effective teacher you must be prepared for any situation. Here are some of my favorite free teacher tools that just might come in handy in your classroom.