On 17 November, the chaplains and Religious Education (RE) coordinators of Catholic schools gathered at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Centre (CAEC) for a time of fellowship with fellow educators. An engaging session was conducted by former RE educator, Mrs Patricia Lee. The teachers were also briefed about various events ACCS has planned for 2016.
They were also introduced to the programmes to be conducted by the Brisbane Catholic Education Office, namely the ‘Catching Fire’ Faith Formation programme for principals, vice-principals and RE coordinators due to take place in August, as well as the Religious Education Access Programme (REAP) workshops in November 2016.
Ms Geraldine Krishnasamy, who attended the event, shares with us about her reflections on the gathering.
What was the focus of the event, and how did you find yourself relating to it, from your own experience in the classroom?
The event was a gathering of all RE Coordinators. The facilitation was very well conducted. It gave me an opportunity to interact with other RE Coordinators and learn how they ensure the Catholic ethos in the school is maintained. The session helped me reflect on the activities, events, programmes I had initiated in my school and the importance of having such programmes. The session also made me realise that it is from the little activities I do in my own classroom that I make the faith come alive in small ways.
How did you feel while reviewing the highlights of the year? How does it help you plan ahead?
Firstly, I have to thank God for providing me with the time to attend the meeting this year. I was previously unable to attend the gathering because I was in the afternoon session and usually the sessions were held in the afternoons. This is actually my first attendance because my school had gone single session starting this year.
Through the interaction with the RE Coordinators from other schools, I learnt how some activities that I thought were impossible can indeed be done in my school. How my school manages Catholic Values Education with Values Education (for non-Catholics) was well-received by the RE Coordinator from another school.
The opportunity to plan for our future and writing down our wish list was awesome. It gave me a direction and concrete goals I can look forward to.
What was your main takeaway from the session?
RE activities are just as important as the other subjects taught in school. I learned that as the RE Coordinator, I am actually very important in school because I serve to ensure that the Catholic ethos of the school is firmly upheld. It is of paramount importance to bring the faith evident in all programmes in the school.
I also learnt that it is important to have the support of the Catholic community in the school even though the number of Catholic staff may be small. It is quite sad to see that the number of Catholic teachers in my school is much lower compared to some other schools.
An RE coordinator present at the session gave pragmatic advice in saying that ultimately, we have to answer to the Ministry. As much as I see the significance of being an MOE staff, I also value and respect my role as an RE Coordinator.