Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

April 20, 2015

Eight Be-Attitudes for Teachers

As you enter the final home stretch of the semester, take some time to review these eight Be-Attitudes for teachers developed by Sr. Kieran Sayer, SSND.

1. Be Prepared

Study the Teacher Manual carefully. Think through lesson plans, outline them, and prepare your own note cards for teaching them. Visualize each part of the lesson in your mind, "seeing" it step by step. You should clearly understand the purpose and expected outcome.

2. Be Yourself

Make the material your own. Think about it; pray about it; if possible, talk about it with other adults. Use the ideas in the Teacher Manual creatively--add your own examples, substitute other activities, shorten or lengthen sections. The lessons should come across to the students as yours, not as the Manual's.

3. Be Organized

Have a definite plan of action for each part of the lesson. Be especially clear about giving directions for discussion exercises and activities. Have all the materials ready for quick distribution.

4. Be Flexible

Be ready to adjust your well-organized plan at a moment's notice. Some activities may last longer or shorter than expected; some won't fit the mood of the class period; some won't work well for your or your students. Always have more material planned than you think you will need. Keep your eye on the clock; if you're running short of time, shorten or drop something--but, please, not the opportunity to pray with your students.

5. Be Open

Listen to what your students have to say, and encourage them to listen to one another. Accept their feelings and ideas even if you don't agree with them. Be ready at times to challenge them (always respectfully) on ideas and positions that are inconsistent, erroneous, or unclear.

6. Be Firm

Do not allow the students to be disrespectful of you or one another. Maintain an orderly, controlled atmosphere even during fun times. Let the students know that you expect adult contact from them.

7. Be Happy

Enjoy your students. Enjoy their nonsense and exuberance as well as their thoughtfulness and serious sharing. Let them know that you like being with them.

8. Be-lieve

Believe that you are not in this business alone, that God and the Church play active roles in this process of transmitting and sharing faith. Believe that God is involved in the lives of your students, that the action of God's grace precedes, accompanies, and follows all your efforts. Believe that the faith is alive in your school, and that the entire student body and faculty are helping in some way to transmit that faith to your students.

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