By Sister Immaculata
It’s that time again! Summer is rolling to a close and the date of the first day of school is clearly marked on our calendars. Children may feel a mixture of excitement and dread, but what is going on in the mind of a teacher? Venerable Mother Luisita, our Foundress, gives us this advice, “Before talking to the children about God, talk to God about the children.” The spring day that I received my upcoming new assignment was the day I began praying for my new students whom I will meet in the Fall. I have a custom of praying for all the students and families I have taught in the daily Mass.
The next step is to prepare! So much of the successful outcome of teaching depends upon our preparation, first in thoughtful planning and then in making it a reality. Before I do any lesson plans, I ask myself, what are the main life-lessons of this course I would like for these children to take with them? To avoid getting lost in the overwhelming amount of information at our disposal, I create goals of the most important concepts for them to know, to ponder, to discover and to live.
The next step is to create an orderly classroom with a cheerful, welcoming atmosphere that fosters a sense of safety, acceptance, collaboration, fun, and discovery. This classroom becomes an extension of their home and family. The school becomes a nurturing Christ-centered environment which fosters academic excellence and the development of servant-leaders through Catholic faith formation.
I look forward to that first day of school! I love children of all ages and it is such an honor to have a part in their formation and in helping them to discover their personal gifts. If I could describe this preparation in one word I would say ‘Wonder’. Year after year it doesn’t wear off: the experience of wonder at the goodness of God in the diversity and uniqueness and preciousness of each one of His children.