It’s the Ideal Book For Catholic Teachers

I’ve long wanted a great book to give to the Catholic teachers in my friends and family.

That wait is over.

TJ Burdick’s new book, 99 Ways to Teach Like the Master, is that perfect book.

TJ breaks the book down into ninety-nine short, accessible chapters that help Catholic teachers realize how their faith can impact their teaching. Simultaneously he gives teaching insights and ideas that any teacher, whether Catholic or not, would benefit from.

From how to help students learn from failure to how to be a storyteller as a teacher to how to deal with different types of intelligence, TJ writes over a broad swatch of important topics in the teaching world.

99-Ways-to-Teach-Like-the-Master-Cover-FINALHow Does He Do It?

The Master that TJ refers to in the book’s title is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus is the Master, and the master Teacher. TJ incorporates Scripture and the example of Christ and applies them to every area of teaching. Each lesson shows how one can follow the pattern that Jesus left for us while teaching students.

The book encompasses every aspect of a student’s life–not just the intellectual aspects–but who they are as a person and how teachers can help them develop themselves in truth.

From years of teaching at various levels and reflecting on the Catholic Faith, TJ has synthesized the two in a powerful way. I was struck again and again with how keen his insights were. They clearly sprung from years of practical experience and personal reflection.

I now have a go-to book for giving to the Catholic teachers in my life. 99 Ways to Teach Like the Master will help people both grow in their Catholic Faith and in their avocation as teachers.

Finding God in Pop Culture

Fr. Barron’s new book, Seeds of the Word, is a fascinating series of articles on how we can find glimpses of God and His Church in popular movies, books, and current events.

Knowing the topic, I didn’t expect this book to be excellent.

But it was! Fr. Barron has a unique ability to find the nuggets of truth in even the most secular of stories. He separates the good from the bad and provides incisive commentary on where our culture is today.

seeds1I never read The Shack, for example, even though it was a big phenomenon, especially among Protestants and unbelievers. He praises the book for its many true aspects, but then also points out that it devolves into heretical teachings that run counter to the truths of the Catholic Faith, so one should be careful with it.

He also picks apart Eckhart Tolle, who rose to fame with his New Age talk on Oprah. Tolle has some ideas that are okay, but many others are straight out of heretical cults from thousands of years ago.

Each chapter is short and to the point. He describes just enough of the movie or book for the unfamiliar reader to understand the background, then he analyzes it from an orthodox Catholic perspective.

I’m happy to give Seeds of the Word five stars!

When Pope St. John Paul II Went to Wisconsin

I didn’t even know that the Pope visited a heavily Polish area of Wisconsin when he was still a Cardinal.

But Philip Kosloski did. And he wrote a book about it: In the Footsteps of a Saint: John Paul II’s Visit to Wisconsin.

This book is fun, short, and fascinating to read. Kosloski describes the unlikely chain of events that led John Paul II to spend a day in rural Wisconsin, touring Polish farmers’ land and meeting various civic leaders, some of whom didn’t realize who they were talking to.

foots1JPII’s charisma and kindness shine through in the book, in how attentive and caring he was toward each person he met, in the fact that he went to rural Wisconsin at all, and in the humility he showed when his main speaking engagement there went a little haywire.

Kosloski is from the area and drew from many local sources, including interviewing people who were there and getting photos of the trip. One great part was when some powerful bishops in the U.S. tried to get the trip cancelled so they could have more time with JPII, and the tough Wisconsin prelates put their foot down and demanded that the future pope get to come visit them.

The book is inexpensive on Kindle and if you have any love for John Paul II, you should pick it up.