by Levi Joyce Almeida
MUMBAI, JAN 24, 2017: The Catechism ministry of Saint Therese of Child Jesus Church, Kuwait, organised an in-house training programme on January 13 and 20, for 17 catechists.
It was held largely for the new and budding catechists but even some old-timers took the opportunity to update themselves. The course was held at Don Bosco School by Christopher Pereira, an experienced motivational speaker.
Pereira has always shown special interest in enhancing and shaping the soft skills of young aspiring speakers. The seminar was conducted with the sole objective of polishing the soft skills of budding catechists and helping them connect and interact with the students while delivering and teaching the Faith.
On the first day of the training, Pereira began the session by explaining the importance of action songs at the start of every class. He then emphasised the importance of knowing the names of the catechism students through a few activities. He also set the ground rules and expectations for the seminar together with the attendees.
The participants discussed the six fundamental tasks of every Catechism session. Pereira then shared tips on how to prepare for a class. "The model way to take a good catechism session was in three parts namely: the human experience, the faith experience and life application."
He also threw some light on the code of conduct that needs to be set between co-teachers in a given class, with regards to agreeing with the lesson plan or when a difference of opinion arises. A key factor, he often highlighted, was the importance to remain spiritually grounded while delivering the lesson to the students by way of live story examples.
A teacher Fabiola D'Mello, who attended the training said, "The In-house training conducted by Chris was very informative and instructive. He provided essential tips and skills on engaging students through the use of the five senses. These skills can be applied to suit the learning styles of each child. I look forward to using these skills in our catechism classes."
On the second day of the training, the catechists were grouped together according to the classes they have been assigned to teach. Each group of teachers was then asked to demonstrate the delivery of the lesson plan within a time limit of fifteen minutes. They were invited to add their own creativity and essence to their subject matter.
Caroline Salis, who attended the training said, "Presenting a lesson plan with a partner after a very long time reminded me of the joy of partnership and teamwork. You get to support and mentor someone and at the same time are being supported and mentored." The training session proved to be fruitful and a great learning experience for all new catechists who attended it.
Ryan Nazareth, a catechist said, "On the second day of training, I felt very good because of the tips given by the resource person. Our group had selected the topic, 'A Practicing Catholic' and used tips such as brain breaks, rewards and recognitions, etc to deliver the lesson. The demonstration class was a wonderful and enriching experience."
The in-house training has enthused all the participants, with all feeling sufficiently equipped to teach catechism to the students.