Since CCD is over for most it is time to think of what will be needed for the next school year. What will you be doing? What will you need? What worked, what didn’t? Did you learn from your mistakes? These questions and more will inundate the catechist the next few weeks. Before you know it, classes will be starting again and you need to be prepared.
This overwhelming task can be examined and planning should be done way before so you can be ready and prepared.
• Get a whole calendar year from your DRE as soon as possible or make a preliminary one.
• Write down what you hope to accomplish and do for the year. Example
• Make sure each lesson can build off the previous one and lay the foundation for the next.
• Prepare your lessons. Having a well planned and prepared CCD class is essential. Without this your students cannot learn to their fullest potential. A well planned and prepared lesson plan will also help to avoid possible behavior problems that could arise in your class as well. Later on be sure to write up more detailed lesson plans and include what is essential to be an effective teacher.
• Organize your materials. Knowing where your activities are and keeping them organized is critical for a CCD teacher. Having all of the materials you need for each particular lesson in a well organize and an accessible place makes it easier for you to find it quickly so you can use it with your students within a moments notice. This will also cut down stressful times for you while you look for a certain activity and allow you to plan your lesson the way you want it to be.
• Write up an introductory letter to the parents. It is a great idea to take the opportunity to introduce yourself by welcoming the child and the parents in a letter the first day of CCD. It provides the parents with information of what is expected in the classroom and what the children will be doing during the year. It can also inform parents of the expectations and rules of the class that will help in making the classroom productive, creative, and enjoyable year for all (this can be a separate page that parents must sign and return to you). Teachers can also ask if parents are interested in volunteering and for any information that can help aid them in better understanding their child and their needs.
• Have classroom rules. Having a well behaved classroom is critical for proper learning. For the students to learn to their fullest potential they need an environment that is quiet, without distractions, and organized. Catechists must also keep disruptive behavior down to the minimum.If your church does not have classroom rules you need to write up some for your class and have them approved by the DRE.
• Find out if you will be having any special needs students in your classroom. When a special needs child is assigned to your classroom, be sure to gather information from the parents about their child before they come to class to help with the transition of their child into the classroom. A training session should be planned and conducted before the special needs student starts CCD to focus on identifying supports the student needs and how to implement them.
• Prepare your classroom to enhance your student’s learning.
Copyright 2010 Laura Grace
About the Author
Laura Grace was a special education teacher years ago and has taught CCD for 16 years. She has been a contributor at catholicmom.com since 2006, is part of the Gospel Reflections Team, and creates lesson plans for religious education and homeschooling. In 2008 Laura started her own blog, The Catholic Toolbox where she posts activities, crafts, games, worksheets, puzzles, lesson plans, classroom tips, etc. for all ages.