Saturday, March 9, 2013

Teachers' Conference



Last Friday at the S.C. Catholic Teachers' Conference, I gave two presentations (same content both times) on Bible-sourced catechesis and 4 teaching methods I use in my 6th-grade class. The blurb from the program:

"This session recreates a typical classroom experience, based on the content of my book, The Bible Tells Me So. The audience will play the part of students, and will learn through participation how guided discussion, drawing, props, impromptu skits, fine art, and the Bible can be used to effectively teach middle-schoolers their Catholic faith."

A couple of weeks earlier, my DRE hosted a 2-hour light dinner and workshop with a couple of local parishes' catechists so I could get a feel for dealing with adults instead of kids, and also find out how much I could cover in a given amount of time. Based on that experience, each 60-minute session went like so:

A short prayer ("Holy Spirit, don't let me waste anybody's time. Amen."), and a few lines of Psalm 78 were followed by a brisk presentation of 4 teaching methods:

1. Teach by drawing, using the story of the Loaves and Fishes as the example.

2. Teach with impromptu skits, by having volunteers play the various characters in the Healing of the Paralytic.

3. Teach from Bible languages, in this case some useful Greek from Acts of the Apostles.

4. Teach from fine art, using a Christmas card and an Annunciation.

So how fabulous was it? Well...it was terrific! The teachers plugged in right away, participated fully, and more than half of them left with copies of the book. And on my side, I could've done four 1-hour sessions with no trouble, covering different topics each time.

I'll be doing another diocesan workshop this fall, and am interested in taking the show on the road. If anyone you know may be interested, please send them this brief description.


3 comments:

Barb Schoeneberger said...

More power to you, Christian! I can't think of anything more germane to today's spread of the Faith than Bible-based catechesis for kids. The more teachers who can follow your ways, the better the Church will be. You might think about developing an entire curriculum for catechists (yeah, big job that takes lots of time) to train them in the how-tos, complete with video and maybe PowerPoint tools or something like that. If I were a teacher I'd want a video of you with your actual class.

Christian LeBlanc said...

I've looked into video...it gets problematic about seeing the kids. In my audio I'm always careful to never address a child by name, but video...modern times. And re curriculum, the catechetical publishers have full-time staff for that. For the present I'm a niche within a niche.

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful, Christian! I'm very excited for you. And thanks for sharing with Catholics in the South.
-PD