Saturday, September 19, 2009

Letter to Parents

For any catechists out there, this is the letter I send home with each student after the first class. If you have anything similar, I'd like you post it in the comments.

September 9, 2009

Dear Parents of 6th Grade Religious Ed Students,

My name is Christian LeBlanc. Mrs. Jones and I will be teaching your children this year.

Here is some basic information for the class:

1. You are invited to come to class anytime. Parents who do come tend to enjoy it, and every additional adult in the room improves the learning environment.

2. Most of classtime is spent discussing that week's chapter in the textbook. Since we don't read from the book during class or refer to it directly very often, please have your child read the appropriate chapter each week before class. They'll be told each week what next week's chapter will be. More important is that students be prepared, pay attention, participate, and do not interfere with other students' learning.

3. We take attendance; please have your child come to class regularly and on time.

4. Encourage your child to contribute to discussions, and to ask questions fearlessly. At the start of each class students can ask any question about God/ religion/ Christianity/ Catholicism/ current events/ encounters with non-Catholics/ you name it. We want the kids to get answers to their faith questions (last year we had over 100), and if they don't ask 'em we can't answer 'em!

5. No sitting in the back row! Our class isn't so big that anyone has to sit in the back. Encourage your child to sit in the front row; it's the easiest place to learn, and harder to be bored there.

6. You can contact me at 230-5473 or with any questions or comments.

Thanks for your support,

Christian LeBlanc


CatechistCorner said...

Dear parents and guardians,

I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and speak to so many of you over the past couple of weeks. For those that I have not yet met, I truly hope to have that opportunity at some point. I’m very happy to have your child in my class this year. We seem to have a diverse group of students and I’m very excited about what the year will hold.

I feel it is important to connect what the Church teaches to life today so the students can see how it remains relevant. Therefore, I try to tie the lessons to what your child experiences in everyday life and I encourage discussions around what it all means today, with special focus on the challenges the students feel they are facing in their lives. To help make that connection, I try to periodically incorporate contemporary music and videos along with different types of prayer and other activities, helping broaden their exposure to different aspects of our faith.

To be successful in this, I need your partnership and support. In the spirit of the Parable of the Sower, I trust that the Holy Spirit will make your child’s heart fertile soil and I will help plant the seeds, but I need each of you to water and nurture those seeds so that they bear fruit. To that extent, I encourage you to ask your child what they learned in class each week and to discuss it with them, even if just for a few minutes. This will help reinforce that the formation of their faith is important to you too. Additionally, I may occasionally give them an assignment that will require some involvement on your part. I know that you are very busy, so I will keep those to a minimum. The first of these assignments is going home this week. It consists of your child briefly interviewing you regarding what you hope they get out of religious instruction this year as well as some of the things you like. This is once again meant to reinforce to your child the importance you place on faith in their life.

Lastly, there is an expectation that your child participate fully in the faith. That includes attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation as well as some sort of daily prayer by them. Additionally, there will be a few charitable initiatives throughout the year to show the importance of charity in our faith. These are intended to be charitable initiatives on their part, so we ask that they contribute to meeting these particular goals, at least partially, with some of their own time and money (as you deem appropriate). We understand that everyone’s means differ, so we leave this to your good judgment.

I thank you in advance for your partnership in helping strengthen your child’s faith. May God bless you in your ongoing parental ministry.

Your brother in Christ,

Carlos Torres

kkollwitz said...

Carlos, thanks. That's you mind if I take some inspiration from it next year?
I have always tried to keep my letter short, thinking that parents won't read something longer, but reading yours, I think I may be wrong about that.