Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Book Review: The Catechist’s Toolbox by Joe Paprocki
The Catechist’s Toolbox: How To Thrive As A Religious Education Teacher by Joe Paprocki
New and veteran catechists will find The Catechist’s Toolbox an invaluable “tool” to use to become the best catechist enabling their students to learn at their fullest potential. The techniques and tips that are disclosed cover everything from A to Z helping the catechist know what they should do for class management and how to handle certain situations and challenges. The catechist will learn how to plan and prepare properly and how to conduct their class efficiently and effectively to promote learning. Joe Paprocki explains in easy understandable terms how to write lesson plans, what to include in them, which activities to use, and how to provide a variety of learning activities that keeps in mind how your students learn best. He even addresses how to help students learn who have special needs and what you as a catechist need to do to integrate them into the classroom.
The author uses an innovative approach in divulging this information by using various shop talk (plumbing terms, electrical, construction, etc.) making it a delightful read. The 17 chapters allow the reader to dig deeper into understanding what makes a good catechist and what they should do. Some of the chapters include the following subjects:
• Planning and Preparation
• Which Activities To Use and Why
• Adapting to Learning Styles, Special Needs, and Diversity
• Practical Advice about Things That Can Go Wrong
• How To Get Your Students To Participate and Engage in Learning
• Skills, Tips, and Practical Advice for Leading Others in Prayer
• Polishing Your Technique
• Using Textbooks and Catechist Manuals
• Skills, Tips, and Practical Advice for Using the Bible in the Classroom
• Using Technology
• How To Ask Questions
• Assessing Student Progress
• Teaching and Learning by Doing
An appendix is also included and it gives you a guided reflection and reliable Catholic websites with navigational hints.
After reading this book catechists will know how they can be a better teacher. They will know how to implement the best techniques so that all their students will learn about the faith and enjoy coming to class. The Catechist’s Toolbox is a must have for all catechists.
Limited preview- To see some of the book.
*Be sure to check out Joe Paprocki’s blog: catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com where he shares his methodologies, techniques, and tips for catechists.