My faith as an Educator
A Threatening World for our Children
We trusted everybody. Our lives were not at risk. In our Primary School days, we had learned some of the basics for our survival and were well equipped and well informed. This was done by our committed parents, teachers and missionaries who contributed greatly to our human formation.Wryne Benett (Education Secretary, Diocese of Gizo)
Today in this changing world, nobody can deny the fact that children are victims of abuse Sexual crimes, Family Violence, Substance Abuse. Many are being eliminated in the home and community.Their Primary Education could not be completed .The girl child particularly, becomes a single parent. There is not enough to eat, some eat only one meal per day and the list goes on. These are happening right in our own house, village, urban center, parish and community. It breaks our heart more when we listen to the National radio as her major news headlines every now and then. Our Children's God given life is being threatened.
The Second Vatican Council gives specific attention to the vocation of an educator "Every person who contributes to integral human formation is an educator."
In this Year of Faith the scenario illustrated, challenges me as a mother of five grownup children, a grandmother, and an educator. My spouse and I had tried and still trying every avenue going through the dark moments of our lives, searching ways and means of how we could better reach out to our own children who had and still encounter these problems. As parents we continue our duty to evaluate our roles and responsibilities. Daily in our devotions we pray for their redirection to the Lord. Our biggest question is "Where have we gone wrong?" But, as we pray more humbly and listen more attentively, only a clear voice echoed back repeatedly. The voice says "Educate In a Christ-like way." "Educate In a Christ-like way." What does this mean to us?
A Gift of God
We come to our great realization and recognize that each one of us is first and foremost a gift of God to our Home, Community, School, Parish and Church as a whole. "I praise you, because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way," (Psalm 189:14)
We have come to realize our weaknesses and that:
We have failed miserably to listen and teach as members of Christ's Body in the tradition of the Catholic Church.
We have failed miserably to create a loving caring home. So many times as parents, we neglect our God given duties and we forget our children and our business always comes first. But the child is saying," I have not much time to wait, I only need your love and care, a smile and a hug since my life is vulnerable."
We have failed miserably to create, a caring and protective school, where children are nurtured, loved and respected in order that they reach their full God given educational potential.
As a Year of Faith can we redirect our lives and teach as Jesus taught, preaching the Gospel by our words and by our example?
As a Year of Faith, can we parents be at our home early from work each day, to take up the responsibility of the house girl and be with our children to be more caring and loving saying encouraging remarks to them, telling them that they are special and teach them our family values and of our church?
As a Year of Faith, as teachers can we be more committed and be passionate about our call for the profession we have chosen?
The essence of our duty is the dignity of the children; therefore instead of sitting in the classroom and receiving them can we go and look for them? Can we be more inclusive in our approach to teaching? Can we be more radical to live the Good News in our actions to prepare our children to be good parents, and better parishioners and good citizens of Solomon Islands who will make our country more peaceful and more loving and caring?
Finally as we are God's stewards in this world, and must act on His behalf, let us be reminded by these words of St. Paul from 1Corinthians 3:16-17
"Surely you know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you! So if anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is Holy and you yourselves are his temple."