One of the quotes that I often return to in relation to Catholic Education is the following:
“Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of humanity’s most excellent and creative activities, for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings.”
It comes from the document, The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, from the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.
The quote reminds me that teaching is not just about handing on information and building up knowledge.
The art of teaching and learning is about accompanying young people in their discovery about the world in which they live, the relationships that make up that world, and the participation they are invited into in order to meaningfully contribute to that world.
Catholic educators undertake that task of accompanying young learners because they believe that each and every child is made in the image and likeness of God and has the capacity to know and be known by the God who calls us to creative partnership in bringing about God’s dream for the world.
Think about the teachers who had the biggest positive impact on you. They are generally those who not only knew and loved their subject but were able to inspire us to search more, to push harder, to dream bigger, to make a difference. They were able to lift our sight higher and stretch our minds wider.
As we come to the end of Term 3, I would like to thank all teachers. The task has become even more challenging during the last two years when so much of our schooling has been transferred to online learning. The thing about teachers is that they never give up. They always find new and creative ways of reaching out to students. Our teachers have shown agility, resilience, creativity, and commitment. They have kept the needs of their students at the forefront of their decision-making in challenging times.
I would particularly like to acknowledge and thank our Principals, Gilbert Keisler, Frank Dame, Annie Engellenner, and all staff at our three parish primary schools at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Deepdene, Our Holy Redeemer, Surrey Hills, and Our Lady’s, Wattle Park. They have done extraordinary work over this last term. They have continued to show us what it means to believe that teaching is indeed one of humanity’s most excellent and creative activities. They have continued to write on the very spirits of our young students who are all the better for that.
Fr Brendan Reed
Read more about The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium