- Category: Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Orthodox Christian teachers receive intensive training at Hellenic College
The Catechesis of The Good Shepherd Curriculum as put forth by Orthdox Teacher brings hands on experience to the early child.
Sunday School/Preschool Teacher Training Focusing on the 3-6 Year Old Child
Is your Sunday school or Church school a place where children experience prayer?
About the Children's Room:
The Children's Room is a beautiful environment with many biblical and liturgical activities placed in an orderly fashion. The teacher presents each activity to the children in a timely sequenced manner that moves from the simple to the complex. The children are free to repeat the activities, to retell the bible stories, and to proceed to other connected activity for each carefully selected parable, infancy narrative, prophesy, hymn, prayer, gesture, or Liturgical procedure. The Children's Room provides an array of activity and religious experience stimulating concentration, prayer, and learning as the child interacts with the beautifully designed "hands on" materials.
Orthodox Christian Spiritual Formation is a program based on the belief that children are able to have a relationship with God. Infant baptism is a testimony to the authenticity of the infant experience. (The Philokalia) “The spiritual faculty, the nous of the baptized infant knows God through immediate experience.”
In the prepared environment children spontaneously acquire knowledge beyond what is generally thought possible for their age. The presentations and activities satisfy the child's natural inclination to be spiritual, leading the child to fuller participation and belonging in the House of God.
The teacher’s role is to prepare the environment that nurtures the sensitive period of spiritual formation and to present materials that encourage the children to respond to God's love. The teacher is the link to the prepared environment, as she reads the Holy Bible, asks contemplative questions, and shows the children how to use the materials.
His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston have offered their blessings for this program. Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Religious Education Department for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese endorses the course and hopes to see it flourish.
Does OCSF offer programs for older children?
Yes, it begins with Level I for 3 to 6 year old children
Then Level II for 6 -9 year old children
Then Level III for 9-12 year old children
Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Education Center is a non-for profit corporation, offering a nationally accredited teacher Montessori certification course and offers training for Orthodox parish schoolteachers.
For more information, please contact:
Director, Catherine Varkas
Hellenic College Alumni Board
Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Education Center
1710 Grand Central Drive, Tarpon Springs Florida 34689
Benefits to building a Children's Room in your parish:
The program is designed for fifteen to thirty children, depending on the size of the room, in a mixed group of three to five year olds. The program can be set up as a weekly (for Sunday school) or a daily program (for preschool).
Children experience and grow in their faith. Parent interested is peaked as children share what they are learning. Some parents, who have stopped coming to church, return in order to enroll their children in the hands on Montessori style Sunday school.
Community develops as parishioners become involved with the making of materials for the three different levels. In addition, students remain in the same room with many of the same classmates for three years.