Skip to main content

Teacher, love your students

Rosemary at A Catholic Mother's Thoughts offers a beautiful reflection:

"To teach John Latin, it is not enough to know Latin-- one must also know and love John."


I ponder this because I have moved from a career of practicing medicine to a career of teaching with a little writing on the side. A couple of times a week I face two dozen community college students and work to impart the intricacies of anatomy and physiology.

I really thought I was called to teach in a Catholic school--and maybe I will eventually. I just want to blurt out all these beautiful truths that flow from the principle of the sanctity of human life. In a secular school setting there is no blurting. So I stand before my students and witness indirectly.

I have an innate tendency to stridently march forward with a hammer in my hand ready to pound my opposition into conversion. I think God is teaching me a gentler and more effective method. He places me before these students ostensibly to teach them a college course in biology. Yet, there are so many opportunities to teach about Him.

The most obvious is to teach about this wondrous creation of the human body. How can anyone marvel at the complexities of anatomy that mesh perfectly to support our physiology. If you appreciate the choreography of electrical, chemical, and mechanical events that must occur with precision for every heartbeat, our very life seems miraculous. It is folly to attribute this to random chance.

Loving my students also means listening and being alert to the times they need a little extra encouragement. The young mother with a sick infant needs to know that this phase of sleep deprivation will pass. The older mothers need to know that their choice to put their own education on hold while they attended to their family needs was a reasonable and even admirable choice. They are not too old to learn. God, in his wisdom, puts each of us in a given place for a reason. One of my students had a beloved grandmother who decided to forgo further medical treatments for her chronic disease. My student was struggling to accept this decision. I knew this student was Catholic so I offered her a book by Archbishop Gomez on end of life decisions. She was very grateful and shared it with her family.

What I try to convey to my students is that wherever they are in their time of life, they have an individual calling. Their life is a gift and the way to show their gratitude for this gift is by living every minute of life for God's glory.

Comments

Rosemary Bogdan said…
I think you must be a very good teacher. That quote was not by me, though, I read it in "In Conversation with God." I thought it was so very true.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …