If You Can’t Change What They Think, Change What They Feel

Change How They Feel

When I was a high school theology teacher, there were two incredibly intelligent students that, I have to admit, were a challenge to teach. Ben and Jerry (not their real names) were smarter than me and they liked to show it. Any chance they got, they would question what I was teaching with counter-arguments and [...]

Forming Children as Intentional Disciples

Forming Intentional Disciples as Children

Among the many great books that were published during the Year of Faith in 2012-2013 was Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples. The book is meant to clarify an important distinction between being “Catholic” and being a “disciple.” It begins with the statistics about participation in the Catholic Church today that confirm what many of us [...]

Now You Can Teach Like Pope Francis!

Pope Francis: Master-Teacher

Have you paid close attention to Pope Francis’s homilies and speeches? He follows a consistent format that all teachers, catechists, and communicators can use. For Pope Francis, three is a magic number. Beginning with his first homily to the Cardinals the day after his election, he tends to focus on just three words, questions, or [...]

The Most Important Piece of Advice that New Religion Teachers and Catechists Don’t Want to Hear

Advice for New Teachers

I am blessed to live and work near the University of Notre Dame. Summers are always a great time here. I’m a graduate of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program and my wife still works for one of the ACE programs so I get to hang around people who are passionate about Catholic education [...]

Webinar Recording: 13 Ways to Become a Better Religious Educator During Summer Break

Better Religious Educator Summer Webinar Recording

It was so great to have everyone at the summer break webinar in June. Whether you are a catechist or religion teacher yourself or a catechetical leader looking for resources to give to your volunteers and staff this summer, I hope you will enjoy this recording of the presentation as well as the free handouts [...]

Are You a Witness? A New Focus on Teaching AND Testimony

Are You A Witness?

“You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and Samaria, and all the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 I started something new this semester and it really made a big impact on my students. I started using a new approach to [...]

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

31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator

I 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, www.avemariapress.com, 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 [...]

Do an 80/20 Analysis to Review Lesson Plan

The 80 20 Rule

You’re overwhelmed. Nothing seems to be working in your classroom. Stress levels rise with each new day. Why won’t these kids listen? Why am I constantly getting blank stares? Why won’t they just sit still and pay attention? I’ll never get all of this information covered today let alone this entire year! Maybe your life [...]

45 Ways to Celebrate the Year of Faith as a Family

Year of Faith for Families

Although we’ve begun a new calendar year, the Year of Faith is still in full swing! Have you given your parents some ideas on how to celebrate the Year of Faith at home with your students? Jennifer from Risen Christ School in Minneapolis shared with me a Year of Faith brochure she created to give [...]

“Ask Me About” Printable Handout for Parents

Ask Me About Handouts

This is a guest post by my wife, Jennifer Dees, who currently works for the Alliance for Catholic Education. Jen taught fourth grade in Nashville for four years and since then has helped out with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at our parish. Like every good parent, when my kids jump into the car after a [...]