Are you a Catholic educator? Teach at a Catholic school! Teachers play a vital role in ensuring a school’s Catholic identity. With them lies the primary responsibility for creating a unique Christian school climate, as individuals and as a community. The Holy See’s documents pay considerable attention to the vocation of teachers and their specific participation in the Church’s mission. Yours is a calling and not simply the exercise of a profession.
Practising Catholics committed to the Church and living her sacramental life are particularly suited to teach in a Catholic school. Catholic schools need teachers with a clear and precise understanding of the specific nature and role of Catholic education. Catholic education is strengthened by its “martyrs”, a word that means, in the original sense, “witnesses”.
Children will pick up far more by example than by masterful pedagogical techniques, especially in the practice of Christian virtues. Educators at every level in the Church are expected to be models for their students by bearing transparent witness to the Gospel. If boys and girls are to experience the splendour of the Church, the Christian example of teachers and others responsible for their formation is crucial.
The words of Pope Saint Paul VI ring true today: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses”. What teachers do and how they act are more significant than what they say – inside and outside the classroom. That’s how the Church evangelizes. “The more completely an educator can give concrete witness to the model of the ideal person [Christ] that is being presented to the students, the more this ideal will be believed and imitated”.