I am so pleased to introduce a brand new logo and design to The Religion Teacher. We have come a long way since starting this website as a Blogspot blog in 2009 and it feels like just yesterday that the .com version of the website was established.
I struggled as a young teacher to find quality resources for teaching religion. In my first two years I also taught social studies and the resources that came with the textbook put the religion resources to shame. Yet, teaching religion was so much harder than history!
It is my hope that this site will continue to be a resource that makes your life easier as a teacher or catechists in the years to come.
About the New Website Design
With this new design, it will be easier to access the hundreds of activities, lesson plans, and worksheets that have been shared here. With more navigation options, you should be able to access directly the resources you look for the most frequently.
The new homepage design will highlight the latest activity, lesson plan, teaching strategy, and prayer from the site. All of the most recent articles and resources will be featured on the homepage as well. The middle of the page will display the most timely resources depending on the time of year or liturgical season (Advent, Lent, Easter, etc.).
You’ll also notice an increased number of opportunities to sign-up for The Religion Teacher mailing list, which comes with a free copy of the eBook, The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning. Just over a year old, this eBook displays a step-by-step system to lesson planning as well as 250 activities and teaching strategies that can be plugged into the system as you plan. All of the resources that are shared on this site fit into that system.
About the New Logo
If you are connected to The Religion Teacher via Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter, you have probably already noticed the new logo. In reality this isn’t a new logo, it is the first logo for The Religion Teacher.
I don’t consider myself to be “the” religion teacher, but ironically I almost always hold a clipboard with lesson plans and worksheets in my hands while I teach. Whether it is a clipboard, a paper, a textbook, or a worksheet, we all need effective resources to help us teach. This has been a crucial part of the mission of The Religion Teacher. I want to put the best resources possible into your hands while you teach.
The cross that makes up the whiteboard/chalkboard portrays the most important message of the logo. I asked the designers to make sure that Christ was the focus of of the logo in some way and I love the way it turned out. The focus of this site is not on a teacher, but on Christ.
“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.” (Catechesi Tradendae, 5)
As a religion teacher or catechist we are called to always point to Christ and invite our students into communion with him.
What to Expect in 2012
I have a lot of exciting plans for 2012 You will notice that the newest feature at The Religion Teacher is the “Catholic Videos” page. I mentioned in a recent email to The Religion Teacher mailing list that I will be focusing on creating Khan Academy-style videos in 2012.
As more schools and parish religious education programs embrace technology, I hope that these videos will act as nice supplements to the great teaching that is already going on.
Once I finish each collection of videos, a resource pack of lesson plans, worksheets, graphic organizers, and activities will be on sale to accompany the free videos. These resources will include handouts for the students to complete while watching the videos as well as follow-up exercises to increase the comprehension of the information that each video covers. You’ll will also get full lesson plans that embrace the Learning PROCESS system explained in The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning.
In the meantime, you’ll still find the same great resources posted here on a regular basis including new activities, lesson plans, teaching strategies, prayers, and more.
Thank you all for your continued support of this ministry. May God bless us all in our work to help young people come to know, love, and serve him.