Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet?

10 Ways the Gospels Can Help You Combat Teacher Burnout and Rediscover Your Passion for Teaching

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Pub Date 20 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 01 Sep 2021

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You work hard to motivate your students every day, but where can you find the inspiration you need when teaching gets tough or your passion for the classroom starts to wane?

Veteran teacher Amy J. Cattapan invites you to look to the greatest teacher of all time—Jesus. With humor and stories from the trenches, Cattapan draws valuable insight and tools from the Gospels and shares ten life-changing principles every teacher can learn from Jesus. In Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet?, she’ll help you hang onto your sanity and fulfill your calling even when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and on the verge of burnout.

Classroom burnout is real. About 44 percent of new teachers in New York leave the profession by their fourth year and 40 percent of new teachers leave Chicago schools within five years. All over the country, managing online instruction has only added to the pressures teachers face.

In order to combat frustration and burnout, Cattapan will help you:

· remember where your calling began;

· rediscover who this is all about;

· know when to lean on others for help;

· learn how Jesus dealt with challenges; and

· understand that God’s grace really is enough.

Whether you’re a brand new teacher, a veteran educator, or a homeschooling parent, you’ll find wisdom—and more than a few laughs—in Cattapan’s reflections on the Great Teacher and in classroom stories straight from the front lines.

You work hard to motivate your students every day, but where can you find the inspiration you need when teaching gets tough or your passion for the classroom starts to wane?

Veteran teacher Amy J...

A Note From the Publisher

Amy J. Cattapan is a middle school English teacher, speaker, and author who has written or contributed to several books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade and the award-winning novels Angelhood and Seven Riddles to Nowhere. She is a regular contributor to the Homeschooling Saints podcast and hosts Cath-Lit Live! for the Catholic Writers Guild. Cattapan has appeared on The Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM, and Chicago Catholic. Her writing has appeared in Highlights for Children, Hopscotch for Girls, Pockets, and Catechist. She also served as the host for Shalom World TV’s BOOK.ed. Cattapan earned a bachelor’s degree in English secondary education from Marquette University, a master’s degree in instruction for secondary education language arts from Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University Chicago.

Amy J. Cattapan is a middle school English teacher, speaker, and author who has written or contributed to several books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade and the...

Advance Praise

“Teaching is tough. The best way to survive and thrive as a teacher is to take the journey with other educators. Amy Cattapan throws struggling teachers a life preserver with this funny and faith-filled set of reflections about the joys of Catholic education. Cattapan is living proof that you can still smile after decades in the classroom and she invites readers of this book to discover how they can keep smiling, too.”
Jared Dees
Founder of TheReligionTeacher.com
and author of Christ in the Classroom

Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet? will make you smile. Amy Cattapan stirs up joy in each of us, sharing gospels connected to everyday teaching and reminding us that we are called, we are beloved, and God is pleased with us—all welcome elixirs to the everyday struggles of teaching and of life. This is the book that teachers in Catholic schools need today, but they will also seek it again and again. Cattapan’s writing voice is friendly and kind, and she uses gentleness and humor to reassure us that we are called to teach with compassion. I am grateful for having read this lovely book and look forward to sharing it with my Catholic school friends!”
Michelle Lia
Assistant director for the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education
Loyola University Chicago

“In order to thrive in mission, the Catholic educator must have a strong relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. This dynamic benefits both the teacher and student. And what better teacher than Jesus, the master himself. Whether you are new to teaching or a veteran educator, read this book to enliven your faith, both in and out of the classroom.”
Justin McClain
Catholic high school theology teacher
and author of Called to Teach

“I really enjoyed Amy Cattapan’s new book! This engaging read certainly resonated with me. This book is the perfect present for any new or seasoned teacher. I’m planning to buy copies for my teacher besties. Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet? couldn’t have come at a better time after a year of pandemic teaching. You have a winner with this one!”
Barb Gilman
Cofounder of #CatholicEdChat

“Teaching is tough. The best way to survive and thrive as a teacher is to take the journey with other educators. Amy Cattapan throws struggling teachers a life preserver with this funny and...

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ISBN 9781646800377
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Featured Reviews

This was a sweet book to remind a tired, worn out teacher of the purpose of teaching. The author had a Catholic background that I did not realize before reading but I still could take away truths and be encouraged. The author was relatable and encouraging to keep teaching and ringing hope to our schools.

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Wow, what an incredible read. This was an excellent volume. Now I need to be up front, I am not a teacher, at least in the classroom sense. Though I did debate it 35 years ago. I have been a TA at university and in college. And in my current role in IT I teach or mentor both up and down. But once I started reading this book I could not put it down. There were so many good stories in this volume. Cattapan in this volume writes from her 25 plus years’ experience in the field. The chapters in the book are: Introduction 1. Jesus Began Small 2. Jesus Had a First Day, Too 3. Jesus Knew Who He Was Doing It All For 4. Jesus Set the Stage for Learning 5. Jesus Asked for Help 6. Jesus Knew When (and How Far) to Bend the Rules 7. Jesus Knew the Power of a Good Story 8. Jesus Took Challenges in Stride 9. Jesus Trusted God’s Grace to Do Divine Arithmetic 10. Jesus Knew When to Stop and Just Let It Be Epilogue I picked this up for several reasons. First I have read the 2 novels and a published short story by Cattapan and enjoy her fiction. Second I have several friends who are teachers. Some in Catholic Schools and some in public schools and even a few in private schools. I thought about all the great teachers I had, and some of the amazing teachers my children have had. And I wanted to read this and if it was as good as it looked, recommend it to many of those teachers I know. And I have already ordered a copy for the teacher resource shelf in my youngest children’s school. The introduction begins with these words: “I have been teaching for more than twenty years. And since I’m Catholic and guilt would only gnaw at me if I weren’t honest, I’m going to tell you the truth: I have thought of throwing in the towel numerous times. This is not the result of any one bad school or bad administrator or bad set of colleagues or frustrating group of students or parents.” And further she states: “The burnout I’ve experienced over the years has not come as a surprise. While studying to become a secondary-school English teacher in the 1990s, I heard grim statistics about teacher retention, and the implication was always that teachers quit because they were burned out. In 1997, Linda Darling-Hammond reported that more than thirty percent of beginning teachers leave within their first five years of teaching.1 More recently, Charles M. Payne stated that 44 percent of new teachers in New York are gone by their fourth year, and about 40 percent of new teachers in Chicago are gone within five years.” And yet further: “If you’re like me, you felt the Lord call you to be a teacher at a young age, but at times you’ve wondered if you misunderstood what he was trying to tell you. Some of us went into teaching with grandiose ideas of being the next Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, inspiring our students to “Carpe diem!” Or maybe we thought we’d be like Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Dangerous Minds and stride into an inner-city classroom in a leather jacket, teach some karate moves, and somehow unlock the potential of a group of students nobody thought was worth their time.” And also: “The answer seems to be to keep finding ways to reinvigo¬rate my love for teaching and reenergize my approach in the classroom. That’s what I hope this book will do for you. As I mentioned before, I’m Catholic, so my guilt won’t let me lie to you on this point either. I need this book right now. Over twenty years in, and there are still days when I ask God, “Are you sure you still want me doing this?” (Maybe it’s a result of my Jesuit education, but ongoing discernment seems to be a way of life for me.) So I am writing this book to reinvigorate my own teaching and to reenergize my own approach to the classroom, but I think that it will also do the same for you.” I hope those few quotes from the introduction will help you see how engaging and honest this volume it. It is wonderfully written and I am certain it will benefit any teacher who picks it up or has it gifted to them. The book is engaging and entertaining. Once you get going you will have a hard time putting it down. And for those of us not in the profession many of the lessons are transferable. I know that several of the pieces of advice transfer to working on a team and working in IT. This is a great read and valuable resource for the teachers in your life. I highly recommend it. (Note review will post on my blog and amazon on release date.)

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I found this to be a nice reminder to any and all teachers who get burned out, discouraged, or just not sure what to do next. I taught in a Christian school and this book was written from a Catholic teacher's perspective but really none of that matters. As teachers we can all learn lessons from the gospel to help us overcome hurdles. I felt that all of the author's thoughts were relatable and give encouragement. I would highly recommend this to teachers, no matter what the time of year. I was given this book by NetGalley and Ave Maria Press. All opinions are my own.

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This last year in education (CoVID , politics) has been incredibly rough. So much so, that many are leaving the profession altogether. This makes me so sad. While many of the things covered in this book, I already know and do, I did find it refreshing and needed to read and have it lay out in front of me. There couldn’t have been a better time for a hope infused book specifically for teachers. Thank you! ** huge thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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I would highly recommend this book for my principal and my teachers at St. Emily. I totally enjoyed Ms. Cattapan’s down to earth and easy to read style of writing. The connection with her text and the Bible passages was simply amazing to me that you could interpret them in such a remarkable and succinct manner. It was so uplifting! I have been teaching for 45 years and having taught many Religion classes over many of the grade levels. I only wish I could have had Amy’s book way back then!!! That’s one of. the reasons I want to purchase her text for my staff. I also loved her great sense of humor intertwined within her book. All I can add is what a talented and inspiring writer Amy is and I’m positive she brings that knowledge and enthusiasm to her students and colleagues. That’s why I give her 5/5 stars !!! Sincerely, Diane Mullins Assistant Principal Director of Special Education St. Emily School Mount Prospect, IL

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"Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet?" is a superb read for new teachers and veteran teachers. While sharing examples of the not-so-perfect teaching moments we all experience, Dr. Cattapan provides Gospel passages to encourage us through these moments. In addition to the Gospel passages, she imparts sound pedagogical advice on how to care for our students to fulfill our mission and our love of teaching. I love the conversational tone and humor of this book. I will be to purchasing multiple copies for my colleagues.

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Sweet Jesus: Is it June Yet? is an absolute delight. Subtitled 10 Ways the Gospels Can Help You Combat Teacher Burnout and Rediscover Your Passion for Teaching, this book absolutely lives up to its billing. In lively, engaging prose, author Amy J. Cattapan offers a spiritual lesson plan for educators in order to rekindle their love of the art of informing young minds. Cattapan uses the words and example of a great teacher, Jesus, to help illustrate key points. As Cattapan writes, "Let's see what we can learn from Jesus. Let's study his life and his teachings--what he taught and how he taught it--and pull out ten golden nuggets that might help us face our next day with the kiddos. In our hearts, we know our kids are worth our time, our talent, and our treasure. But remember, too, that you are a precious child of God. He loves you, and you are worth his time." This incredible resource would make for a terrific back-to-school gift for the favorite teacher in your life. Cattapan is to be commended for using her significant talents to help her colleagues in the classroom. It seems like five stars represent an insufficient rating for this fine work!

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This book couldn’t have come at a better time for me. After one of the craziest school years of my life, I was feeling discouraged and utterly exhausted. Reading it this summer energized me to return to the classroom and was a wonderful reminder what a privilege it is to be His hands and feet. While this is told in a Catholic perspective and I’m a Christian, this will work for any denomination. Rich is scripture and truth, this is wonderful tool to keep in your arsenal and go back to it when you need a boost. My thanks to the publisher for the advance reader in exchange for my honest review.

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First, I love the title! Anyone in Catholic education knows the sweetness of Jesus, our Savior, and of June, that magical start of summer vacation away from school and mostly all of its responsibilities! While the custom of summer break originally began due to the needs of an agrarian society, the significance of escaping from school and returning refreshed is still important today to combat the issue of high teacher burnout, which the author names and addresses. From her own experience, she herself has sometimes questioned her calling to be an educator and witnesses how her faith has helped her restore her passion for teaching. Using scripture readings as a lens for perspective, the author identifies ten gospel lessons that follow Christ’s life as a compassionate rabbi, teacher, to learn some practical and spiritual examples to stay the course. Using her experience as an English teacher, the author uses active-reading strategies to help the reader work through the content, including helpful reflection questions at the end of each chapter. Finally, the author weaves in humor to ease our journey through sometimes parched career landscapes.

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It's been a rough couple of school years for teachers, and the upcoming school year may be more of the same. Sweet Jesus, Is it June Yet? - even from this non-teacher's perspective - encourages teachers in the profession the way only another teacher who's been in the trenches can. Amy Cattapan draws from experiences in the classroom and out to relate her successes and failures to the lessons gleaned from the teacher of all teachers, Jesus Christ, as shared in the Gospels. Chapters are short, easy to read, and eminently practical. If you're a Christian teacher, you'll find understanding, support, and gentle encouragement in these pages. And, I think, a fresh perspective that might help counter the burnout you've been feeling. This will make a great gift to the wonderful teachers who help to educate my children.

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Every teacher can relate to the title of this book and has felt this desire for the end of the school year, especially during the last couple of years. This book is exactly what I needed right now. It is such a quick and easy read. Now it will definitely be a book I revisit over and over when I need to gain a healthier perspective. After you've read it once, its a great book to revisit just a chapter or two and bounce around. I also look forward to reading this with my colleagues in a book study. You will not be disappointed with this book. Thank you for writing this beautiful reflective book using the gospels as the foundation.

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