On Faith Teaching

As a Catholic teaching in a non-sectarian school, I often find myself having to bite my tongue so as not to share too much of my personal views on faith and religion.  I know that we have the freedom to share our thoughts and then let our students make their own choices, but I really do have that tendency to give long-winded speeches about God and how He has always been there for me.  This often leads to an endless debate between my students and I.  Thus, I just decided to really focus on talking about universal values.  But these days, I have to wonder if it’s the right thing to do especially when you’re teaching kids who are at a point in their lives when they need direction and guidance.

The thing is, I have to be careful and respectful of what they believe in even if they basically tell me they believe in nothing.  That being said, I’d like to take these days of reflection to just talk about how much God has guided me throughout my life.  Life has been both good and horrible a lot of times, but it’s never a reason to give up because I know that God will always lift us up again and bring us closer to Him. His love never ever fades and His forgiveness is so immense that our own simple minds could never comprehend how He could love us so much in spite of our sinfulness and weaknesses.

I’ve been so lucky to have been given a strong family… parents and siblings, who love and accept me for who I am and friends who are there for me no matter what. Throughout life, I’ve always managed to hold on to these people because I know God has meant for them to be there for me.  What bothers me today is the fact that I see so many of my kids just being lost and confused at such an early age.  Granted, I will probably never understand where they are coming from, I still feel the need to do something about it.  I honestly can’t recall being as lost and confused in HS as some of my students do today. Err. Maybe I was a late bloomer? LOL.  Anyway, I just feel that I don’t understand where the seeming burden on some my students’ shoulders comes from.  Does it come from their family or is it burdened upon them by society?  They face so many things we never had to worry about in the past.  It’s really no wonder they feel so tied down so young.

In some ways, I try my best to be there for my students.  I know that often times, I fail miserably at really listening to what they need and what they deserve… Maybe I end up smothering them too much, too. But, I have to believe that every tomorrow will give me another opportunity to share God’s love with them.  I may have to stop myself from talking too much about God, but I guess, I can try to live out what I believe in by showing kids how LOVE can make a difference, even in small and simple measures.

In the end, I guess we can never really teach about faith… Perhaps, it’s more of living out the faith.  With that, I have to be a better Catholic Teacher.. even if I don’t teach in a Catholic school.  Here’s one of my favorite songs… When I feel down, I try to put these words to heart.

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