Anticipation Time

Years ago we had a bush in our backyard that bloomed in August. It signaled that summer was almost over and school was looming closer. It also reminded me that it was time to get things settled for my classroom. Going back to a newly cleaned and refreshed classroom was always exciting; new students, new books, new ideas. Although I usually spent the summer brushing up on something new to bring to the class, August was anticipation time.

Religion is often the one subject teachers do not prepare for as they get ready for school. Most seem to feel that they know their religion so why brush up on it. But the important part of teaching religion is making it relevant. And in this day and age of Core Curriculum, it is important to find time to bring religion into the classroom as frequently and as appropriately as possible. So, when preparing for your class, take time to look at the scope and sequence of your religion text. Take time to note where and when you can incorporate it into your other subjects. Look at the theme of the units and chapters of your religion curriculum. Note where there are connections to other subjects. Put post-its in your literature, science, social studies teacher manuals to refer to either something you have taught in religion or to integrate your subjects. Or put post-its in your religion manual to remind children of how their faith relates to what they are learning in other areas of the curriculum.  If you have taught the same grade level before, you probably already have ideas of where to incorporate, now plan on how to enhance the opportunity so that your students not only learn their academic subjects but realize how important their faith is in their lives and the lives of others.

Remember, as Catholic school teachers, your first priority is teaching the Catholic faith, not as an academic subject but as a preparation of life.  Help your students see how their faith permeates everything they learn.

For more information on how to form Catholic identity across the curriculum, click here.

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In her 36 years in the Catholic school system, Marilou Abramshe taught elementary and middle school grades before becoming a principal. Now retired, she is currently a teacher in her parish’s religious education program.