It honestly doesn't feel like the school year has ended, but truthfully, it did a little over a month ago. Our crazy winter that blessed us with plentiful snow days kept us in until the last minute, which gave me no pause between the academic year and summer school. My last three weeks have been filled with nonstop teaching in a total different way but I'll share all about summer enrichment another time. The 2018-19 school year is in the books and I have officially been a teacher for an entire year!
From the bottom of my heart, I love being a teacher. There were very few mornings that I woke up and didn't feel eager to start my day. Loving my job made it so much easier to spend time apart from my family each day, especially because I felt so affirmed and focused in what I was doing. While law school felt uncomfortable and often faked, I didn't have to pretend to love the books we were reading or the topics we were discussing.
That isn't to say there weren't moments of error and opportunities to learn. I've learned so much in the last year. From hair lines to history to collaborating and developing relationships with coworkers, God placed me in an environment that pushed to grow in order to better serve the community my family has been placed in. My ability to simply use the technology given to me and better communicate with parents in person and over the phone has grown in leaps and bounds. Not to mention, classical curriculum was totally foreign to me, and now I can't imagine my child learning any other way as he grows up!
It has been such a fruitful year for our family, between buying a home, Josh and I both working in locations and spaces we enjoy, and watching our baby transform into a toddler (complete with a stubborn attitude and plenty of opinions).
Stay tuned for more as I catch my breath this July and prepare eagerly for next year. Which really says it all, doesn't it? I quite truly cannot wait for August!
Friends, I am so on fire with what this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday held for me as a Catholic educator and mother. I've written about classical here all year, but I can't express it enough that classical liberal Catholic education model that strives to walk in line with Catholic Church teachings on what Catholic education should be. And what should Catholic education do?
It should educate the whole person.
""Holy Mother Church must be concerned with the whole of man's life, even the secular part of it insofar as it has a bearing on his heavenly calling. Therefore she has a role in the progress and development of education." (Gravissimum Educationis, Preface)"
Culture today pushes the Church to the side, relegating it only Sunday mornings and the occasional holy day. But the truth is, while an overarching separating of church and state as entities protects a country from dissolving into tumultuous theocracy, the family and the church have become so misaligned that the Church is no longer able to support families and families no longer support the Church. As Mark's Gospel warns us, a house divided cannot stand. The Church and family, which was created to protect and provide for one another, cannot stand without the other,
We, as the primary educators of our children, need Mother Church to help us. Just like our children, we require help discerning right from wrong and best from just okay. And good educators, committed to the Catholic faith and its teachings, can help moms and dads who labor daily to provide the best for their children in all areas (not just the material) in a way that is so clearly lacking in greater communities across the United States.
As I look at my own toddler, I am thankful knowing that I am not alone in the development of his character and morality. He is not punished as school for biting; rather, he is disciplined and taught. They remind him that biting hurts and it is never okay to hurt our friends. He placed kindly in a safe space, removed from his friends but not shunned from the group until he is ready to play gently again. And, more importantly, every day, he enters his school with warm greetings and big smiles that he returns eagerly. His school is just as much a home to him as our own home is. And that is only possible because of his teachers' commitment to partnering with us, his parents, to educate our little one with the dignity and respect of the whole person deserves.
Classical is likely to become an educational buzz word in the coming years, similar to differentiation or spelling to learn to read or blah blah blah... but the truth is, if classical education is employed with a sincere marriage to the purpose and intention of Catholic education. Our mission, bestowed on us by the Church through Christ is to create disciples. At the end of the day, we have been given a sacred mission to help these little people become saints.
First year Catholic educator in the Classical curriculum style. I teach middle school English-Language Arts.