New Book: 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator!

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious EducatorI am pleased to announce that my new book, 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, is officially published! It is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, and various Catholic bookstores!

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator is the book I wish that I had when I was first starting out as a religion teacher and it is a resource I implemented with great results in this, my ninth year in formal religious education. The book includes thirty-one exercises to help you live out your vocation more fully and create an engaging, spiritual, and educational environment for your students.

Each of the thirty-one days includes a quote from Scripture, a story from a saint or research in educational psychology, step-by-step instructions for completing an exercise to help you become a better religious educator, and a final “Going Deeper” section that invites you into a meditation or prayer practice.

The book is broken down into four parts each describing a key aspect of the vocation of religious educators:

  • disciple
  • servant
  • leader
  • teacher

These four roles are based on the life and teachings of the Master-Teacher Jesus Christ who was called both teacher and master (leader) and taught his followers how to be good disciples and servants in order to be good teachers and leaders.

To be a good teacher, you have to be a good disciple. To be a good leader, you have to be a good servant.

What Can 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator Do for You?

Whether you are just starting out and in need of help as a new religious educator or you are a seasoned veteran looking for new tips and friendly reminders of what is important, 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator will help you effectively use your time and energy to change the lives of your students.

The exercises, strategies, activities, reflections, and meditations in 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator will help you fully live out your vocation as a religious educator. The book will help you identify the most important work you do and increase your effectiveness in the classroom.

Through the exercises, you will start to see yourself as a disciple of Christ, not just a teacher to your students. You will recognize your role as servant to the students while at the same time a visionary leader. With your inspiration and approach to catechesis, formed by these thirty-one days, you will find students and parents becoming interested and engaged in their faith.

With prayer and intentionality in these exercises, we can pray that our students develop a life-long faith and love for Jesus. We pray that they can apply the lessons in our classroom to their everyday lives.

What is in 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator?

The thirty-one days of exercises and meditations covers a wide range of topics and approaches to religious education that will help develop you as a person but also the work you do in the classroom. For example, you will

  • Consider your specific vocation to the classroom
  • Reflect on your relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Identify student needs and strengths
  • Effectively communicate and motivate students and parents
  • Improve your personal prayer life
  • Save time and create a more efficient classroom
  • Improve your approach to lesson planning
  • Improve the way students read their textbooks
  • Incorporate movement and music into your days
  • Become a witness of the gospel

For the full table of contents including titles for each day visit or Ave Maria Press and click Table of Contents.

Each day is highly practical and easy to implement. Just read the introduction and follow the step-by-step instructions for incorporating the strategy or meditation in your life.

You will also find at the beginning of the book, a foreword written by my colleague Joe Paprocki, author of The Catechist’s Toolbox and Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox.

Supplemental Resources for 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator 

If you read the many endorsements for 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, you will find a recurring theme: practical.

At its core, The Religion Teacher is about sharing practical resources and teaching strategies. Knowing the challenges of time and energy in the religious education classroom, “practical” is an essential component to everything I try to offer here. The 31-day framework is a very practical approach to creating improvement in your life and in your classroom, but I decided to go above and beyond the book and invest a significant amount of time and energy into additional practical resources to help you implement the principles in the book.

The following resources are freely available to supplement the book:

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator Leader’s Guide

Are you a DRE/CRE or religion department chair who wants to lead your volunteers or staff through these thirty-one days? The 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator Leader’s Guide includes extra resources and handouts to use for each day. Download it here and print it out for your staff. This resource is perfect for workshops, in-services, and ongoing professional development to be used in conjunction with the 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator book.

Download the 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator Leader’s Guide.

The 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator Daily Email Reminder

We all need reminders when we’re starting something new. Sign up for to get an email each day during your 31 day period to remind you to carry out the exercise in the book. Sign up and get access to extra resources and worksheets to help you implement each exercise in your life.

Just enter your name and email, then choose the date you wish to start your 31 days below.

( mm / dd / yyyy )

31 Days of Extra Resources

Want more? At The Religion Teacher you will find additional tips and resources for implementing each exercise in 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator. Check them out:

Become a Better Disciple 

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Become a Better Servant 

Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13

Become a Better Leader 

Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Day 18 | Day 19

Become a Better Teacher 

Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 | Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Day 31

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator is available at Amazon,, and Ave Maria Press. Buy it now and start to implement some of the exercises yourself or purchase it in bulk for your entire staff or group of volunteers.


Free eBook on Lesson Planning

Have you signed up to receive the free eBook, The Religion Teacher's Guide to Lesson Planning? Whether you are a veteran teacher or in your first year, this guide provides a step by step process to effective lesson planning and provides 250 suggestions for activities and teaching strategies.

About Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher. He is the Content Marketing Manager at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach, and Praying the Angelus.