The CRT Spotlight

CRT Spotlight #12: Milia Ziegler

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!

Milia (center) with her family

INTRODUCTION

Name:
Milia Ziegler

What teaching positions have you had and for how long?
K-8 Homeschooling teacher for 25 years

Where have you taught?
At home (Cincinnati, Ohio AKA “Porkopolis”) 😊

JUST FOR FUN

FAVORITE: Bible verse or story
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

FAVORITE: Saint
St. Ignatius

FAVORITE: Christian Work of Art
A 1970s song about Zacchaeus that I’ve only heard in Catholic schools

FAVORITE: Food
Pulled pork

FAVORITE: Book
Fifteen by Beverly Cleary

FAVORITE: Movie
The Sound of Music

FAVORITE: Vacation spot
Anywhere we go in our campervan!

FAVORITE: Thing(s) to do in your free time
Hang-out w/family, read, scrapbooking

FROM THE CLASSROOM

What do you enjoy most about being a Catholic religion teacher?
I enjoy most the fact that it is my husband and me who are teaching our children Catholicism, although I highly respect the Catholic education taught today in schools. I really like being able to focus more on certain aspects, like the Rosary and saints’ feast days, and incorporate them into daily life.

What religion topic/lesson do enjoy teaching the most?
The saints

What is something your students have taught you?
My children-students have taught me that a young age does not preclude insightful observations about life and people.

What is a β€œwin” (story of success) that you have experienced through your role as a religion teacher?
I would say that my biggest win is the time my 14-year-old son and I were returning home from going to confession. We were talking about how he’ll be driving before we know it, and he said that one reason he’s anxious to drive is so that he can drive himself to Mass. 😍

What is a struggle or challenge you have experienced as a religion teacher?
A challenge I’ve faced is getting our children as excited about the Catholic faith as I am. I’ve learned that activities like the one ones here on CatholicReligionTeacher.com that make lessons applicable to everyday life can be very helpful. Appropriate humor goes a long way, too! 😁

What have you found to be most effective in helping your students develop a strong relationship with Christ and His Church?
I have found the most effective way in helping my children-students grow closer to God and the Church is to model the desired action. I also post quotes and Church wisdom as well as attach a different prayer once a week to their chore charts that we chat about during the week.

What kind of advice or encouragement would you most want to share with a brand-new religion teacher?
Teach your lessons cheerfully, not austerely, and make them relatable to everyday life. But my #1 piece of advice is to make sure your students understand that, contrary to popular opinion, the Church is NOT an oppressive authority that enforces arbitrary rules. Help them see the Church’s rules as a life guidebook that teaches us how to use our moral intellect and live our lives as good human beings, both of which deepen our relationship with Jesus and the Church he founded.

CONCLUSION

Anything else you’d like to add?
First, it’s very important these days to teach about moral relativity and how dangerous it is. Second, there is a wealth of great Catholic-based fiction books out there (just type “Catholic books for kids” in a search engine), especially for an age-range I’ve always found a little difficult to teach (10 and up). It’s helpful for kids to read how other kids, even fictional ones, talk about/deal with situations possibly similar to their own, all from a Catholic perspective.

How can other teachers connect with you?
mdz44@outlook.com

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