CRT Spotlights are intended to encourage and inspire fellow teachers of the faith. Know a religion teacher who deserves to be featured? Please send me their name and e-mail address via my Contact page. Thanks!
What teaching positions have you had and for how long?
5th grade Math, Religion & Science for 6 years; 10th & 11th grade Theology for 1 year
Where have you taught?
Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School – Farmington, Michigan; Detroit Catholic Central – Novi, Michigan
JUST FOR FUN
FAVORITE: Bible verse or story
Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
1. St. Therese of Lisieux
2. St. John Paul II
3. St. Gemma Galgani
FAVORITE: Christian Work of Art
The Pietà by Michaelangelo
FAVORITE: Vacation spot
Tropical: Aruba / Adventure: Europe
FAVORITE: Thing(s) to do in your free time
I enjoy watching movies, going to concerts, and playing and watching sports with family and friends.
FROM THE CLASSROOM
What do you enjoy most about being a Catholic religion teacher?
Specifically, being a Catholic religion teacher —> Since Jesus is my life, I am very happy to have the opportunity to share him at work. I talk about Jesus all day long – what’s not to love about that!
Being a teacher in general —> I love teaching and I love my students! They are the reason I love going to work every day. It is a gift to work with children on a daily basis, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What religion topic/lesson do enjoy teaching the most?
I enjoy teaching about the Gospels and the Apostles the most.
What is something your students have taught you?
This is a tough one! I’m learning from my students constantly. I learn from their joy, innocence, purity of heart and from their thoughts and questions. They challenge me daily and I have become a better teacher because of them.
What is a “win” (story of success) that you have experienced through your role as a religion teacher?
As a teacher, I rarely see the fruits of my labor. Once in a while I’ll receive messages from parents or the students themselves of how I have impacted their lives and helped shaped them to become a better human being. All glory to God! It’s a blessing to hear things like this because it helps to continuously validate my calling of being at teacher. A teacher-friend told me once to save those messages for the “bad” days to help remind myself of why I became a teacher in the first place.
What is a struggle or challenge you have experienced as a religion teacher?
The biggest challenge right now is teaching the Truth of the Catholic Church in a society where people are getting pulled 10 different ways of what/where the Truth is. It leaves students in a state of confusion when their Theology teacher tells them one thing and parents and society say something completely different. My prayers have increased for my students because of this.
What have you found to be most effective in helping your students develop a strong relationship with Christ and His Church?
Authenticity. Relationship. Trust. Love. These are words that come to mind when I think of an effective teacher/youth minister. Students just want someone real to listen and talk to. It is very important to share who Jesus is in my life to my students. If I view “Religion class” as just another subject, then that’s what it will be for my students. It’s not easy, but it is vital to make Jesus real in the classroom and that is my goal every day.
What kind of advice or encouragement would you most want to share with a brand-new religion teacher?
Be you. Be real. Teach and share Jesus! Don’t be afraid to show your students that you love Christ. We must be a witness to the Gospel by sharing how the Gospel changed our lives. It is our job to make Jesus real in the classroom. Content is important, but how can we bring the content to life to our students?
How can other teachers connect with you?
Categories: The CRT Spotlight
Thank you Alana! I very much enjoyed reading this. It was inspiring!
Peace of Christ 😊
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Thank you Alana – I “met” you while I was waiting at Home Depot! Thanks for sharing with us, I feel much the same way. God Bless you🙏
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