Religious Education

Today was my first day as a Sunday school teacher. It was wonderful and the kids were great.

I have some questions though. Anyone can answer.

How should you approach young children on sensitive or complicated issues?

What should parents look for in a good religious educator?
What should they demand in terms of results of religious education?

What are the roles of parents in this process?

How should discipline best be enforced?

I also notice that I tend to explain religion rather well to adults and that in fact I would love to be able to hold specialized classes for parents but I’m probably getting ahead of myself aren’t I?

Remember that you are allowed to say, “I’m not sure how to explain that in terms that are right for your age. I’ll need to get back to you on that one” or “That is a bit ahead of what someone your age needs to be concerned about” or the like. You can describe the issue to the child’s parents and ask their opinion about how to proceed, if you think about it and are still unsure, since they know their child better than you do.

As for what parents should look for, let alone what they ought to “demand”, I’d advise asking your pastor or whoever he’s made his deputy for running this program about what your goals, benchmarks, boundaries and so on ought to be. Then stick to that. If a parent has an issue with how or what you do or don’t teach, talk things over with them. If there is an impasse, ask to go with them to the pastor for a binding opinion.

What are you referring to? There should be no sensitive or complicated issues in the religious curriculm for young children.

It is not the parents who select the volunteer catechists. I do not understand this question.

They are not in a position to “demand” anything, other than that all teaching is faithful to the Magesterium. Religious education at the parish is a supplement to what parents should already be doing at home-- parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith. One hour of religious education a week is going to give them some supplemental information, not formation.

Parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith.

In reality, I do not see most parents step up into their God given role and accept that responsibility or take it seriously.

That is up to you. Talk to your director of RE.

So, are you teaching in a parish or a school? What level? And what are your credentials? Are you a volunteer catechist or the director?

What do you mean by specialized classes for parents?

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