Exit Strategy: Failure or Success

Exit StrategyAn exit strategy is a means of leaving one’s current situation, either after a predetermined objective has been achieved, or as a strategy to mitigate failure. Catechists will be leaving their class soon with an exit strategy celebrating a successful year or trying to make up for a lackluster year. Which one will you need?

Hopefully, you have reached the goals you have set for your year. Consider the following checklist:

  • You have successfully addressed the content for each session
  • You have broadened the understanding of key Catholic terminology
  • You have fostered a sense of spirituality with your students
  • You have provided substantial encounters with Jesus
  • You have inspired and motivated the desire to know more and make adjustments how students’ lives are being lived
  • You have developed positive and lasting relationships with parents
  • You have increased family communication, trust, and faith
  • You have developed a bond with your students and sense of community among them
  • You have enjoyed your vocation as a catechist
  • You have taught the appropriate grade level prayer(s)
  • (insert other goals here)

Failure

If you feel you have fallen short of your goals never fear, you have not gone this alone! You have always had the Holy Spirit with you and God’s Word never returns void. That means that sharing your faith -including all of the content, prayer, and experiences- is sharing the Good News. We may never know just how we have impacted the students under our care. It is not our job to convert anyone, only to be faithful to the role we have of sharing the Good News! However, consider the following ideas as a last opportunity to make the best of our challenge:

  • Create a list or timeline of your sessions and review the basic content. Now is the time to clarify any remaining questions students may have
  • Make connections with content and how this impacts our spiritual, personal, and community aspects of life
  • Reinforce grade level prayer(s) and the meaning behind them
  • Prepare a way to send this information home so parents may review it as well
  • Celebrate the year and challenge students to stay active over the summer

Success

If you have met your goals, you will be developing a successful exit strategy for your last session(s). Here are some ideas for a successful exit strategy:

  • Celebrate with food and treats
  • Review the past year’s content and reinforce themes and content as needed
  • Create a short prayer service thanking God for the year and seeking sincere dependence on God for the future
  • Review next year’s content allowing for students to process how next year will build upon this year
  • Allow time for students to review the implications of what they have learned this year and decide on how each of them will respond over the summer
  • Create something for families to do together over the summer break
  • Promote summer church activities students can be a part of

So, what is your exit strategy? Failure or success?

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