I Have A Reputation As The Hardest Religion Teacher
Written By: Robert Batch
Over the past few years at Saint Bonaventure High School, I have gained a unique reputation of being the hardest religion teacher. There are a few clarifying points that I would like to make in regards to this reputation, that I think provide good insight into teaching Theology in general.
Point # 1: The truth does not deserve to be simplified. Unfortunately we currently live in a relativistic society where truth has become a personal preference. Pope Emeritus Benedict once said that "Relativism is the greatest problem of our time". How true. When it comes to teaching theology we are faced with that same problem, only under a magnifying glass.... We must go beyond the coloring books, and arts and crafts, and accepting the answer "Jesus loves me" & "Jesus is the answer" as a substitute to study the truth of the Catholic Faith. If we choose to simplify the truth down to coloring in between the lines then we have greatly misunderstood what the teachers and great saints before us have told us.
Point # 2: Writing is not just for English Class. As a Franciscan University of Steubenville Graduate, and current Masters student (online) I have learned the great importance to writing when it comes to studying theology. Let me clarify, there is no theological reasoning behind why I have my students write so much, but rather it is simply for the purpose of critical thinking and insight. Religion Class is not an excuse not to critically think. I am always having my students write, whether it is in the form of a essay, or in the form of a personal blog, they are writing their thoughts down, and engaging their minds.
Point # 3: Transforming Hearts & Engaging Minds. Teaching Theology is not just a job to come to everyday and receive a paycheck. (Yes at times there are days that are tougher than others). However teaching Theology is a Vocation. A calling. It is a discipline that if taken seriously not only will it engage the students, but will transform them from the inside out.
I mean lets be honest...the truth is powerful...
About The Author
Robert Batch holds a degree in Communications with a Minor in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Theology online through Franciscan. He has a passion for speaking, lecturing, and teaching about the faith. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife Amanda