by Rathna Kishore
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 22, 2014: The parish of St Therese organized an Orientation workshop for the new Catechism teachers to welcome them into the Lord's vineyard. The workshop was conducted by Christopher Pereira on two Fridays, October 10 and 17, 2014. It focused on the general aspects of teaching and then more specifically on the fundamentals of teaching Catechism.
Keeping in mind that many of them were new to the experience of "formal teaching", Christopher spent the first day introducing them to the basics of teaching, by sharing tips on keeping children engaged and excited. "The success of a good teacher," he said," was to engage all the children in a positive manner by facilitating group discussions, asking lots of questions, competitions, reward and recognition etc." "I was really nervous as I had never taught children. But on the first day, we learned some amazing ideas for working with children" said Rositta Lawrence.
Thereafter, Christopher beautifully unfolded the six-fold role of a Catechist – promoting knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, teaching to pray, education for community life and missionary initiation.Finally, he demonstrated how the creative knitting together of a human experience with the Word of God and its application to daily life could effectively communicate the day's lesson to the children. He also introduced them to various online and offline resources, that they could use in preparation for their classes.
The second day of the workshop was all about role-play and group presentations. "I enjoyed the second day because we had a chance to put into practice what we had learned on the first day. Through small-group presentations, feedback and review we felt encouraged to take on our new roles" said Sharita Misquith. The workshop concluded with a thanksgiving prayer, setting out with a song in their hearts and a burning desire to reach out to the children the Lord has entrusted to their care.