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Allison Welch
Part-time high school Theology teacher; Full-time wife and mother; Wanna-be writer; Eternal Jesus freak
Interests: i love to read, write, hike, kayak, bike, and hang out with family and friends.
Recent Activity
It's how I got started. The High School Theology teacher ruptured her appendix and I got a phone call at 10pm on a Sunday night. "Any chance you can fill a long-term sub position?" I should have asked what they meant by a long-term! Six years later I am still a sub of sorts. Someday I hope to write a book about my experiences teaching theology, religion and morality to teenagers. And I have stories to tell. The good kind, the bad kind and the just plain ugly. I plan on calling the book "My Life as a Substitute". That's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2014 at My First Year
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Whether you're a parent, a student or a teacher (and aren't we all at least one of those?), I hope you've had a great start to the school year! As the stars aligned I had a ten page paper for my Masters class due during the first week of school. For those of you who are teachers out there you know what I'm talking about when I say the start to the school year is just plain crazy. On of my favorite back-to-school stories from My First Year was when I came home from school one night, dropped by bags... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2014 at My First Year
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There are many. One day when I was in the teachers' lounge (yes, I go there now), someone was describing a feeling we could all relate to: It's not possible to keep all the balls in the air. I set one down for a while then I pick it back up and put a different one down. Yes, that's it! That's exactly how I feel. No matter how much I am able to juggle, the feeling of failure lays heavy at my feet. The relentless grading and lesson planning alone will crush you under their weight. Somehow "balls" like laundry... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2014 at My First Year
You might remember when I "crowd surfed" in the chapel at one of our diaconate meetings. The unity of voice and spirit carried me away like a teen at a rock concert. It was church worship how its meant to be, a taste of heaven. Recently I had a very different encounter at one of our meetings. It is important to note that it was in the classroom and not the chapel that we struck a note of discord that sounded, well,... like hell. Some of the men fundamentally disagreed about a particular church teaching and I have to tell... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at My First Year
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Some of the most fun, most productive things that happen in my classroom are spontaneous, Spirit led. I know this, because they're not in my plans... For Catholic Schools Week, each student in the school (approximately 450) is given a strip of construction paper and instructed to write a prayer on it. Then we connect the colorful prayer requests together to form a giant prayer chain that we display in the lobby. I'll admit it was simply a task on my list, bellwork to give my students in order to satisfy someone else's plan. I don't know what reminded me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at My First Year
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The Christmas Crib was an overwhelming success! Check it out... We delivered two truckloads of baby clothes and supplies to the local Women's Center. THIS is what Christmas is about... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful tradition!... In His love, Mrs. Welch Homework: Please keep us in your prayers as we take a busload of youth to the March For Life. It is an amazing time -- including a Youth Rally that you never outgrow. It's exciting, fun, exhilarating and profoundly moving -- but as you can imagine, the responsibility of taking a group of teenagers anywhere... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2014 at My First Year
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... of giving. And if we are Christian, not just to people we know. "Overcoming poverty is not an act of charity but an act of justice. Poverty is not natural. It is man-made." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013 Amen. Homework: Add "Baby Jesus" to your gift list. Make it a family tradition to buy baby clothes and supplies and donate them to your local woman's center. It is one of our favorites! Happy shopping. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2013 at My First Year
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For several years I dreaded Christmas. I'd made such a production of it that it ceased to be fun. Two trees, (one the kids decorated however they wanted and one for me); garland on the mantle, down the stairs and in each window (thirteen); and pointsettias everywhere. Then there was the extensive gift list: my family, my husband's family, our family...friends, teachers... At one point I was buying for nearly 30 people. Then, of course, you have to wrap it all. Ugh. And I love wrapping. Have I mentioned the baking? No wonder I grew to despise it. So My... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at My First Year
ATTITUDE by Charles Swindoll "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2013 at My First Year
One of my students showed me this and I thought I would pass it along. It's salvation history set to song. Hope you enjoy it. Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2013 at My First Year
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It's been a while... The truth of the matter is that at the end of the school year I experienced a genuine crisis of confidence. The song that kept running through my mind was none other than "Losing My Religion" by REM. This can't be good. The words, "Oh no, I've said too much..." kept taunting me like a schoolyard bully. Only I was singing the lyrics wrong and found myself drowning in an eddy: "Oh no, I've said too much...I haven't said enough"--Which, though the wrong words, and impossibly paradoxical, is actually closer to the truth. That's what it... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2013 at My First Year
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First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. At least that's how I learned the song. We spent a lot of time this year talking about love, what it is, how to recognize it, how to live it. As always, students were required to look in Scripture and the Catechism to aid in understanding. The secular messages that they are inundated with are sung to a very different tune, and I happen to know they are confused. "Love is a decision." One day I put this on the board as bellwork. I had planned... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2013 at My First Year
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Highlights from our Emmaus Walks: We read the Scripture together and talked about the story. "Isn't it funny?" I asked the class, "Just imagine the men telling Jesus about what had just happened to Him--as if He didn't have any idea! Who knew Scripture was funny?" I could tell they hadn't considered it. (I am convinced that God has an amazing sense of humor, and furthermore, that it is a requirement of being Christian.) Then I explained that we were going to go for a walk and look for God. "You're not going to believe this Mrs, Welch!" the kindegarten... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2013 at My First Year
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I love the Scripture story about the two men walking to Emmaus. It's so easy to imagine, to place youself there. Consumed by dramatic recent events, the men are stunned when they encounter a stranger who appears not to know what has happened. Everybody is talking about it, how could he be unaware?! I love the irony of it, of two men telling Jesus about what happened to him. How often we do that--talk to God as if He doesn't have any idea what we're talking about?! Taking an Emmaus Walk is always a great idea. And what's not to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2013 at My First Year
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I've been singing it for several days now, the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I first heard it several years ago and it is a song that never really leaves you. It is simple and hauntingly beautiful. Recently, I've been singing it while walking the dog. Spiritually, I imagine scattering mystical rose petals as Gracie and I walk past the jail, past the contruction site, past the people driving the opposite direction. In prayer I ask Jesus to visit them, to touch them with special graces, "For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world."... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2013 at My First Year
Catholic Teaching on Sex? In a word: misunderstood. Thank you, Fr. Barron for helping us to understand! Encore?... The church proposes, it does not impose. Pope John Paul II Mrs. Welch Student Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2013 at My First Year
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It happened again, with uncanny similarities... They drove past, across the invisible line that separates "us" from "them." I waved as they went by. It is a simple but important gesture, a greeting that announces our intentions: We are friendly, peaceful, approachable... We were praying the rosary when they parked their vehicle. "Two men..." someone said, verbalizing the concern that had already broken our focus. Two men going to Planned Parenthood? No... they were there for us. "They were here before," someone said nervously, acknowledging the impending confrontation. I glanced over my shoulder and saw one of them getting something... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2013 at My First Year
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We have a Pope! Isn't it exciting?! I'm so optimistic. What a great opportunity for the world to see my mother Church in all her beauty; thousands of years of history and tradition paraded before us. The successor to Peter has been named. And what a name!! Who doesn't know --and love-- Francis of Assisi? Wasn't it cool how the seagull landed on the chimney right before the white smoke came flowing out to announce that a Papam (Papa) had been chosen; a Pope whose first decision would be to pick the name of a man who is known for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2013 at My First Year
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"While all the runners in the stadium take part in the race, the award goes to one man. In that case, run so as to win! Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things. They do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable. I do not run like a man who loses sight of the finish line. I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others I myself should be rejected." 1 Corinthians... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2013 at My First Year
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Approximately once a month we meet with our Lower School Prayer Buddies. The Upper School students ask daily when the next get together is scheduled. They can't wait. It really is neat watching them interact with the little ones. They rise to the occasion. It isn't unusual to see the cool kid put his guard down and reveal a softer side. Speaking of "guard" - I had an inspiration for an activity to do for our next get together. Here's how it works: PREP WORK STEP 1 - Create a Christian Soldier Option 1: Have the students trace and cut... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at My First Year
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All is Grace. It's how I sign my school email. "All is grace, Allison Welch." Everything is an undeserved gift from God. Everything. I remember actually resenting God's claim on my life, on everything in it. I mean, I've worked hard for what I've got. I've earned it. Who says it belongs to Him? Who says I owe Him everthing I have? (Hope you don't get an electric shock from the keyboard! ;-) I still regularly resist the notion that everything I have belongs to God, but I rarely resent it. How's that for progress? ;-) "Reliquishing" it is still... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2013 at My First Year
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So recently, when someone was being critical of the Catholic Church for the "exclusive club" approach to Communion "because that's what Jesus would have done" (eye-roll), this is how I wish it had gone: Me: (in response to critic and to lighten the mood), "Hey, that's my mother you're talking about!..." (Head rotates in circular fashion and the room laughs.) Me: "OK, let's say I offer you a car..." (Pulling keys out of my pocket and dangling them in front of the student.) The room erupts, students shout: "Give him the keys, Mrs. Welch!"; "Have you seen him drive, Mrs.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2013 at My First Year
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With the new semester we're starting a new curriculum - Church History. I've done this activity the last couple of years but this year's students did exceptionally well. Here's how it works: We start at the beginning -- with Jesus telling Simon-Peter that he is the rock upon which Jesus will build his church. Then we introduce Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, and we discuss the tensions between the two as they work to grow the church. Peter argued that only Jews should be allowed to join, that Gentiles should convert (be circumsized!) before being initiated. Ironically it was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2013 at My First Year
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A few memories from the March for Life 2013 - the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade: It was cold. ;-) So cold that I didn't want to go. You know how sometimes the anticipation of something is worse than the reality? And then, sometimes... it's worse. It was the kind of cold where your nose hairs feel like needles. Towards the end of the March I thought my toes might start snapping off like icicles with each step. I have a crush on Matt Maher. I first fell in love with him here. (Watch it at your own risk.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2013 at My First Year
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And now...back to reality. Consider this a counter-post to the ethereal experience of "self" expressed in Reflections of a Church Mouse. So, first thing in the morning I looked at my reflection in the mirror and saw a work of art. Which is not to say that it was pretty. What I witnessed was a Picasso - you know, one of those cubist paintings where the eyes are all askew and sharp lines carve up the canvas. I really need to give up sleeping on my stomach! Those early morning lines on my face used to be amusing when they... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2013 at My First Year