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Why Catholic Education

My Journey

Since becoming an employee of a Catholic School Division many people have asked, Why I chose Catholic Education? At first my only answer was because I find it comforting to be able to speak freely about God while in school. Then as I further reflect I believe that Catholic Education chose me; let me show you how: My journey of faith has been one of curiosity, commitment, enjoyment and love. I was baptized Anglican as a child. Going to church and learning about God was a special event for me. Sunday was a day of celebration, I got up early, put on my Sunday best and spent the day with my grandma alone as we celebrated Gods word. It was like my own private club that my grandma and I belonged to. I would sit in church with her and feel such pride as she sang with the congregation. To me as a child my grandma had the voice of an angel. I began to learn some of the same hymns just so I could stand beside her and sing. As my journey continued it was halted by my grandmother moving away to another city.

I moved to a new town as well. It was scary being in a new place and the only way I knew how to fit in was to get up early on Sunday and put on my good clothes and go to church. Here I listened to Gods word, took part in Sunday school and became a youth helper, I could still feet close to my grandma. It was my most favorite part of my faith journey and the most memorable. I was introduced to summer camps, where we taught more about the bible, God, the creation of Heaven and Earth and spirituality. I acquired lifelong beliefs and friendships through this experience. At this point in my life God and the church was more about belonging and learning life lessons. I acquired an interest in the bible, began to develop and maintain a relationship with God, too action and pride in morality and social justice. The values that I practiced were:

Reading the bible Confess sins regularly and asked for forgiveness Trust Jesus with my problems big and small Be kind to everyone, no matter where they came from , Pray daily Understand that it is not my place in the universe to judge others Christ could forgive anything, so I would practice forgiving gracefully Aim to please God and not others Give to others and by serving them you serve God

Although the journey was never easy I continued with support from my parish. Alone I would sit weekly in church and reflect on what I had learned. As a teenager I made another big move in my life to a small rural community. I no longer could walk to church and as I did not drive I was unable to get there on weekly bases. Attending when I could I still held true to my morals and beliefs. When I had my children I wanted them to have the same experience. So they were baptized and raised in a small community church. They were the center of the congregation as they were some of the only children that came to this church. I had such pride in my heart as my children took part in the Christmas pageant; I sang in the church fundraising talent show and shared the word of God together. I studied with my minister and his wife on weekly bases and was confirmed the same day my daughter was baptized. It was such an amazing day. It was Easter Sunday and I was surrounded by my friends and family to support me.

Then God called me to another place. On the day of graduation my university professor asked if anyone would like to go be a teacher in Driftpile AB. Being full of the belief I could make a difference and overall desire to just get in the classroom and begin my teaching career I accepted. Again worship on a weekly basis was hard but with commitment to my values and morals I was introduced to the creator in a new light. It did not make me re assess my own faith, but it did make me celebrate creation more, learning what a precious gift life was and how to respect the world around me that God created from a small flower, to the wildlife to all the people in my community. I had an opportunity to see the world in a new light.

From here I moved to the Catholic School in High Prairie. Finally a place where I could talk about God and the word of the bible with my students to help them find their own way, understand that even though they may not know where they are going, or how to get there they are all, "God created human beings in the divine image" (Gen. 1:27). That you matter because you are in the image of God? At St. Andrews school I met an amazing lady called Carmelle. She was the mentor for the RCIA program. I first went to RCIA because being Anglican I did not understand how Catholic values, interpretations of the bible varied. I also had a religion 15 and 25 assignment for the at risk students

in our school. Carmelle was an amazing mentor, with each week that passed my passion for Catholic Education began to flourish. It was during this time that I asked her what I needed to do to take part in Catholic Sacraments. Through her love, kindness and guidance I began to become closer to God again. I took my first sacraments April 7, 2012 in McLennan. I had many feelings running through me that day, the most memorable feeling was of humbleness, honor and excitement as Archbishop Pettipas read my name to come to the front of the church.

So today I am so fortunate that Catholic Education is has chosen me to be an educator. Daily I feel the connection to my students being made stronger through faith combined with academics. Christ is the center of all we do it here at school. Faith building is promoted by the students, staff and administration. Daily my faith is strengthened through prayer, mass, celebrations and daily virtues shared throughout our school. I feel great pride as I watch the students begin to take their own faith journey. I feel humbled and proud to know that I am part them discovering their faith by teaching, talking and practicing the word of God. I find teaching in a Catholic school and witnessing these acts very fulfilling. In the classroom we help each other develop as we pray, share faith, share stories and discuss how Jesus would act during certain situations. Daily we respond to diversity, struggles, and joy in Gods presence and with prayer and really working together. Being part of a community in a faith based school encourages strong leaders of tomorrow and promotes a sense of belonging. Faith in the classroom happens in various occasions throughout the day.

Some examples are as follows : Praying with the class. We use prayer to bring us together. We use the prayer community when there are instances that we feel the power of prayer will help. We pray for someone who may be sick or in need of prayer, we prayer for understanding, guidance and Penitence to resolve conflict and problems. We practice prayers of adoration and praise. Prayers of thanksgiving We use prayer every Monday in Language Arts to practice our reading comprehension strategy. We further understand a prayer and relate it to our Language Arts weekly. We solve behavior problems by praying, asking for forgiveness and then reflecting on what Jesus would do, talking about it means to be like Jesus and what we should do. Pink shirt day was celebrated in our class with an us creating a class emblem for our entire pink shirt that state Live the Golden Rule Boys and girls alike wear these shirts on a regular basis. We are working on fundraising and buying Buddy Bench. This bench is out on the playground. It is painted a bright color and when you are feeling lonely or sad you can sit on the bench and another child or teacher will come and visit with you. We do not want any of our school mates to be alone. All parent meeting, TEAM meeting are opened with prayer to set the tone of love, commitment and equality among all parties involved. I feel great pride in sharing sacraments with the children. Seeing the students take confession, first communion or holy baptism. Sharing Scripture and understanding it further through discussion

All teachers are held accountable for their actions and are continually observed by their students. They look to their teachers as guides and role models of how to handle situation, practice their faith and be responsible citizens.
My role as their teacher and role model is to show them genuine love and understanding, a student is quick to decide if you are really meaning what you say and do. They learn and construct their behavior in direct response to what they see the adults in their world around them doing. My job as their teacher is to ensure that my thoughts, words and actions are true and enhance Christian, moral, social, and academic ethics.