CCD Catechist FAQ

 
This series of questions and answers by Pat Ducharme, our Director of Religious Education (DRE), relate to concerns you might have if you are considering volunteering to be a CCD teacher. In addition to the information listed below you can discuss your questions and concerns directly with Pat at 568-5272.

We hope that anyone who feels called to this ministry will answer that call so that our children can be enriched in their faith. The gifts we have, we are given to share. Please consider sharing your gift of faith. You will not be alone.
 
How can I know if I am called to this ministry?
 
I need to strengthen my own faith and prayer life. Can I still teach CCD?
 
My faith is strong, but may not be strong enough to move mountains. Am I "good enough" to teach CCD?
 
What do I need to know to be a CCD teacher?
 
Is there any training available?
 
What are the rewards (for me, for my family and my parish) for teaching CCD?
 
What resources are available to get answers to questions that I don't know?
 
How many students are in a class?
 
How long is the class?
 
How many times do classes meet in a year?
 
Do I have to give report cards?
 
Do I keep attendance records?
 
Will I have assistance?
 
How much of a time commitment is it?
 
What if I decide that it's not for me?
 
What if I'm sick and can't make it on short notice? What about conflicts with vacation plans?
 
What happens in the event of snow?
 
What is the procedure for discipline problems?
 
Should I contact the parents for any reason?
 
What supplies will be available?
 
What controls are there for drop-off and pickup of the children?
 
Will I be observed? Will I get feedback?
 
 

Answers

How can I know if I am called to this ministry?

Have you been thinking about it at all? Is there something inside of you that seems to be pushing you to find out more about it? Do you picture yourself in a classroom sharing your faith with others? These are all promptings of the Spirit. It may be God's way of getting you to think of pursuing this ministry. You may have gifts you haven't even explored yet. Let God take you where you need to be. None of us knows for sure until we ask God to show us. Talking to someone who has been doing it for a while can also help.

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I need to strengthen my own faith and prayer life. Can I still teach CCD?

Yes! It is in the giving that we receive. Many of us who have done this for many years always relate that we get more than we give. I am always humbled by the fact that I learn something new each time I teach a class. Whether it be children, teens or adults, there is always a lesson in it for me. Sometimes it comes when I am preparing for the class. Most times it comes out of something someone says in class or from a question that I am able to answer for them. As far as prayer goes, there is nothing like listening to children or adults pray to put things into perspective for you. We all need to pray more.

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My faith is strong, but may not be strong enough to move mountains. Am I "good enough" to teach CCD?

Absolutely!! I never heard CCD referred to as a MOUNTAIN before. Were any of the disciples good enough or smart enough to follow Jesus and then carry out His work? We all have something to offer. Whether it is a smile, a sense of humor, an encouraging word, or just being a good example to our children. We are all capable even though none of us are worthy.

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What do I need to know to be a CCD teacher?

Know that God loves you and that He is in charge.

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Is there any training available?

Yes, the Director of Religious Education (DRE) is responsible for providing or suggesting training for new catechists. There is an annual Religious Education Conference at Bryant College in March of each year which provides workshops on various topics.

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What are the rewards (for me, for my family and my parish) for teaching CCD?

The rewards, of course, are out of this world!! But humanly speaking, I think that we are blessed whenever we share our faith with others. We gain confidence and trust in a God who is always watching over us. Many blessings come through the act of sharing faith with another human being.

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What resources are available to get answers to questions that I don't know?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is available from the DRE or can be purchased at any Religious Goods store such as Tally's or Charisma. This text can also be viewed on line. See National/Global Resources on the Resources and Links page of this web site.
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How many students are in a class?

Class size can range from 10 to 25.

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How long is the class?

Classes are one hour every week for grades 1-6 and one and one-half hour every other week for grades 7-10.

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How many times do classes meet in a year?

Class schedules follow the school year with the same holidays and vacation periods as the local schools. The CCD class calendar shows grades 1-6 meet 26 times, grades 7-8 meet 13 times and Confirmation classes meet 12 times. See the published CCD schedules at Religious Education on this web site under Religious Education on the menu.

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Do I have to give report cards?

Yes, bi-annual evaluations are sent home to the parents.

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Do I keep attendance records?

Yes, roll books are collected at the end of the year. Any child who misses more than 25% of the classes will have to repeat that grade.

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Will I have assistance?

We try to have at least two catechists in each classroom. We also have youth who are doing service projects helping out in the classes. Also, check out the other resources listed on this web site at Religious Education under Religious Education on the menu.

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How much of a time commitment is it?

Classroom time averages one hour a week. In addition to teaching, you will need to add time required for preparation.

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What if I decide that it's not for me?

There is always someone else who can help out.

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What if I'm sick and can't make it on short notice? What about conflicts with vacation plans?

Contact the DRE in advance if possible and she will obtain a substitute catechist to cover in the event of a planned absence. If you are sick, you will contact the DRE who will arrange for a backup teacher on short notice.

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What happens in the event of snow?

We follow the same schedule as Burrillville Schools. If school is cancelled for bad weather, CCD is also cancelled that day. We also post the notice with WPRO Radio AM 630 and Channel 10 News.

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What is the procedure for discipline problems?

If there is a problem in the classroom, the parents are contacted by the teacher and if the problem persists the DRE will be in touch with the parents.

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Should I contact the parents for any reason?

If you have any concerns about the welfare of the child, you may contact the parents directly or discuss the issue with the DRE.

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What supplies will be available?

Any supplies that are needed are provided for by the DRE. All the grades use the Pflaum gospel weeklies, which are take-home readers that include learning about our profession of faith, celebrating mysteries, life in Christ, and Christian prayer. See the Pflaum web site for more information.

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What controls are there for drop-off and pickup of the children?

Younger children grades 1-3 should have an adult come into the school to drop off and pick up. No child should be left unless there is a teacher in the room or the DRE is on the premises. Teachers remain until all their students have been picked up or are supervised by another adult.

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Will I be observed? Will I get feedback?

On occasion the DRE may observe. A teacher can request any assistance that they feel is necessary. Feedback and guidance are readily available.

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