The CRT Spotlight

CRT Spotlight #14: Ilona Harrison

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!

Ilona with her husband (Chris) and daughter (Scarlett-Maria)

INTRODUCTION

Name:
Ilona Harrison

What teaching positions have you had and for how long?
Primary School Teacher, Violin Teacher and French Teacher for 20 years

Where have you taught?
Schools in Zurich, Switzerland and London, UK

JUST FOR FUN

FAVORITE: Bible verse or story
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” – Romans 8:28

FAVORITE: Saint
St. Joseph, St. Don Bosco, Pope John Paul II, Blessed Anne de Guigne

FAVORITE: Christian Work of Art
Religious mosaics such as “Mother of the Church” on St. Peter’s Square in Rome

FAVORITE: Food
Chocolate in all its forms

FAVORITE: Book
The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

FAVORITE: Movie
The Sound of Music

FAVORITE: Vacation spot
Anglesey in Wales, UK

FAVORITE: Thing(s) to do in your free time
Gardening, hiking, playing music, writing down ideas for children’s books (dream for the future)

FROM THE CLASSROOM

What do you enjoy most about being a Catholic religion teacher?
Sharing the joy of our faith and giving testimonies of Divine Providence

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

What is something your students have taught you?
The joy to be a child of God

What is a “win” (story of success) that you have experienced through your role as a religion teacher?
During my time as a primary school teacher, when one of my pupils told me with shining eyes at the end of the year: “We were like a family!”

What is a struggle or challenge you have experienced as a religion teacher?
When parents of children are dismissive of faith topics (and their children aren’t!).

What have you found to be most effective in helping your students develop a strong relationship with Christ and His Church?
Open discussions and exchange of what this means, giving witness about the beauty of prayer.

What kind of advice or encouragement would you most want to share with a brand-new religion teacher?
Trust in the Lord’s help and Our Lady’s and the Guardian Angel’s protection! You might teach or say something which seems to land “on hard soil”, but your pupils might remember it later in life…!

CONCLUSION

Anything else you’d like to add?
I am running a Saints’ Club for children (of all ages) via Zoom – approximately once a month, 30 minutes: We listen to a Saints’ Story, sing, pray together and have fun (lots of pictures and sometimes a fun competition with a small, but nice prize). There is also sometimes a Children’s Rosary via Zoom. Anybody who is interested is more than welcome to drop me a line via email (see below). I would be delighted to hear from you!

Saints’ Club for Children via Zoom (info sheet)
Example Invitation

How can other teachers connect with you?
ilonaharrison19@gmail.com

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