Premium members of The Religion Teacher have access to a variety of professional development and spiritual formation opportunities. These courses are meant to provide new ideas and inspiration for getting students engaged in the classroom and excited to grow in their faith. New courses and series are added each month and archived so members can participate in them any time they want. The current course offerings include:
Empowering Parents Course
Parents are the primary educators in the faith of their children and yet many of them do not bring their families to mass on Sundays, rarely talk about religion with their kids, and do not require them to participate in religious education after they receive the sacraments. Many religion teachers and catechists struggle to get parents to be more supportive of the faith formation they do in class.
In this five-week course, offered exclusively to The Religion Teacher Members, we will learn an approach to evangelizing and empowering parents as the primary educators of the faith of their children. Participants will learn and implement the best strategies to effectively involve parents in classroom catechesis and empower them to take ownership over religious education at home.
Contagious Classroom Prayer: Convincing Kids to Pray Now and Forever
One of the best gifts we can give to the students we teach, is the ability to communicate with God through prayer. The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of expressions of prayer that can have a powerful impact on the lives of those who participate in them. This course is meant to help you, the religious educator, convince young people to make prayer an important part of their lives both today and as grown adults. You won’t just learn how to teach the prayers, you will learn how to model a prayer life that young people will be excited to explore.
Here is a list of topics we will discuss in each session:
- The excuses we make for not praying
- Why prayer is so hard
- A better definition of prayer
- The three expressions of prayer
- How to add meaning to p
- A Survey of Catholic Prayer Practices
- Three Keys to a Successful Prayer Life
Classroom Engagement: Motivate Your Students to Love Learning the Faith
In this four part course, Jared Dees will take you through a series of exercises to help you create a classroom that engages. Too many of our students are bored and uninterested in what we teach. It is time to win over their attention and get them excited about learning the faith. Topics in this course include:
- The two types of motivation (and the only one you should use)
- Focusing on the “why” before the “how” and the “what”
- Understanding your vocation as a religious educator
- How to make your lessons matter to kids
- Crafting a classroom vision statement
- How to get students’ attention
- How to create engaging lectures
- Examples and best practices with graphic organizers
- A simple lesson planning framework for engagement
Teaching with the Joy of the Gospel: A Series of Reflections on Evangelii Gaudium for Religious Educators
In this ten-part series of reflections on Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, we examine ways in which religious educators can become better evangelizers. Each session provides a brief overview of a particular section of the document making connections to the life of a catechist or religion teacher, then concludes with a concrete action step inspired by the words of Pope Francis.
Starting the New School Year Off Right
The first few days and weeks of school/religious education are the most important days of the year . . . and so many people miss the opportunity to make them great. Many of us treat our first days of school like a college seminar by sharing a syllabus, assigning textbooks, talking about rules, and maybe even teaching a lesson. We have to give our students a reason to want to come back again. We have to convince them that this class is different from anything they have done before. This new school year course offers a different approach to the first days of school that focuses on classroom engagement. Topics include:
- A simple practice to get you fired about about your call to the classroom.
- How to go beyond textbooks and tests and give your students something to believe in.
- How to discover your class’s calling.
- What parents really want for their children.
- What to include in your new school year letter to parents
- 5 Ways to Make Kids Feel Welcome
- The #1 Mistake We Make on Day 1 (and What to do Instead)
- 4 Reasons Your Students Will WANT to Come Back Again
- A quick and easy way to create effective procedures & rules