Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, so my husband and I took our three kids out for a special dinner and ice cream treat. As we were waiting for our food, we started chatting about what we were going to give up for Lent. I asked first if they even knew what Lent was, and my five year old daughter said no. I was about to explain it to her but my almost seven year old beat me to it. He looked straight at her and gave the most beautiful explanation of the season of Lent- much better than I would have done! I was blown away by the depth of his understanding and the ease with which he retold what he had obviously learned in school about the Catholic faith. It reminded me of why we send our children to Catholic school.
It was like when my oldest son was in kindergarten and we went to get donuts for breakfast one Saturday morning. In the drive through line at Dunkin Donuts, I paid for the car behind me and his little voiced piped up from the back seat saying, “Mom, that was like an act of charity. That’s one of the seven virtues!” Or when my daughter in PreK goes to Adoration and tells me, “Jesus is in that bread. You can’t see him, but he is inside there!” Or when we were watching Shaun White in the Olympics the other night and talking about how talented he is, and my son says, “I bet God called him to be a snowboarder, like how He called Mrs. R to be a teacher.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I am ridiculously proud of them. But this is not a post about them and the sweet things they say. Rather, this is a post about the power of teachers. I’m sure every Catholic school parent could give similar examples of the times they have been amazed at things their children have said and done as they grow in their faith. This is not by accident, but is a direct result of the dedication and positive example of Catholic school teachers. I am so grateful that my children have such excellent teachers guiding them in learning about and living the Catholic faith.
You may wonder if your students are really paying attention, or worry that they are not learning everything you are teaching them. It may be easier to remember the times they failed a test or forgot to turn in an assignment than the times that they showed a glimmer of understanding or repeated something you taught them outside of class. Well, I’m here to tell you, you are more powerful than you know. Thank you for teaching children to understand and experience their faith in ways that will delight their parents. Truly, you are shaping lives and renewing the face of the Church.