What does Sophia Institute for Teachers do?
We support Catholic school teachers and parish catechists at all grade levels with our Professional Development Workshops, Catholic Curriculum Exchange, printed supplemental teachers' guides, Sophia SketchPad video series, A Family of Faith family catechesis program, and Spirit of Truth K-8 textbook series.
What kind of professional development programs do you offer?
We offer one- and multi-day programs blending content, pedagogy, and Faith renewal to K-12 Catholic teachers and parish catechists. Each program blends scholar presentations with interactive pedagogical sessions, giving you a chance to explore content with a respected university professor, as well as explore and simulate practical teaching strategies with ready-to-use classroom materials. Share best practices with your fellow teachers, enjoy catered breakfast and lunch, and both formal and informal discussions. To learn more about our programs, please visit our workshops page.
What kinds of lessons are in the Curriculum Exchange?
The Catholic Curriculum Exchange contains lesson plans and lesson plan templates in all subjects and grade levels, submitted by K-12 Catholic teachers across America. You’ll find teacher-written and tested Catholic classroom resources on everything from the Sacraments to American literature to mathematics to world history. In these resources are a growing collection of handouts, graphic organizers, videos, short readings, and PowerPoint presentations.
How do I keep track of the resources I use the most?
Find your favorites right away in your customized Dashboard. There you can also find your download history and all the lessons for which you’ve reviewed or written tips.
Can I print handouts from inside the Exchange?
Yes. You can print quickly from the lesson page, or from within your Dashboard.
What resources for special populations do you have?
Resources can be tagged if they are specially designed for:
- English language learners
- Classical schools
- Gifted learners
- Struggling readers
- Students preparing for AP exams
- Home-schooled students
- CCD/Parish-based education
Check back often, as new resources are always being added!
How do you track lesson downloads? Why don't some of my lessons appear to have ever been downloaded?
The Curriculum Exchange tracks how many times a the content of a lesson is downloaded. When you upload your lesson, you will be able to input or paste your material into the "Lesson Content." You may also choose to simply attach files (Word documents, PDFs, etc.) that you've already made. If you attach files only and leave the Lesson Content field blank, you will not be able to track downloads - though views will still be counted. The Curriculum Exchange counts a lesson as having been "downloaded" only when the Lesson Content field is used. It does not track how many times your attached files have been downloaded.
I am a homeschooling parent. Can I use your resources?
Absolutely! Many of the lessons in the Exchange and in our printed teacher's guides are ready to use immediately by homeschoolers, while others might need slight modification. Here is a page with all the resources in the Exchange that have been tagged for use in homeschools. Homeschooling parents have served as teacher authors and pilot teachers of our printed teacher's guides, and serve our teacher advisory council.
I teach public school. Can I use your resources?
Probably not. The resources in the Exchange, as well as the printed and online resources developed by Sophia Institute for Teachers, contain a Catholic perspective that would make them unsuitable for use in public schools. We encourage you to browse our extensive free resources to get a feel for the types of resources we develop.
I want to share resources I’ve developed with other members of the Exchange. How should I decide what to upload?
We suggest you start by thinking about what you would find useful when you are looking for lessons to use in class. Chances are that if you successfully used a certain resource, other teachers would benefit from having access to it. To ensure that the Catholic Curriculum Exchange offers only high-quality resources, all materials are reviewed by Sophia Institute's teacher team before being published. Please see our Submission Guidelines for more information.
I uploaded a lesson but I don’t see it in the Exchange. Where is it?
Once lesson plans are uploaded, they are reviewed by Sophia staff and advisory councils before publication. In your Dashboard under "Shared Lessons," you will see the lessons that are under review. Please allow up to two weeks for lessons to be published on the website.
Do you publish every lesson plan you receive?
We publish all classroom resources that adhere to our Submission Guidelines. These guidelines are designed to ensure that all resources in the Exchange are high-quality and faithul to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
How can I share my published lesson plan with my friends?
You can share a direct link with your friends.
What translation of the Bible is used in your materials?
Resources that are published by Sophia Institute for Teachers use the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE). The teacher-written materials in the Catholic Curriuclum Exchange may use other translations.
I am looking for lesson plans on a certain topic, but you don’t have anything that meets my needs. Now what should I do?
We hope you’ll consider writing and sharing one with your fellow teachers!