The Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) in October embarked on a pilot ‘Journey to becoming a Catholic teacher’, which had participation by 101 persons comprising new and potential Catholic primary and secondary teachers.
According to information from the CEBM, “The purpose of this project is to support new and potential Catholic teachers by providing them with basic faith formation and equipping them with spiritual tools which will be focused on understanding self in the workplace as well as the development of lesson plans which would enhance Catholic learning.”
Supporting the CEBM is the Evangelization Commission, Catholic Youth Commission (CYC) and Catholic Teachers’ Association.
The workshop format is intended to assist teachers in discerning their vocation, to understand true servant leadership, the Catholic Christian in the workplace and to understand the morals and values of a Catholic educator.
Module 1 ‘Teaching as a Vocation’ ran September 25 to October 23; Module 2 ‘Teacher Evangelization’ begins January 15, 2022 and runs to February 26.
The final module is ‘Catholic Teacher in the Classroom’.
The CEBM stated the “modules are designed to address in a practical manner the crucial areas as it refers to authentic Integral Human Development.”
Interviewed Wednesday, December 1, Ayanna Nero, CEBM Senior Operations Manager said the feedback from the first module was “generally positive”. She referred to the session on discerning vocation—the Youth Commission coordinated the process— as “providing the tools…to see whether this is their area, if it is what they are called to do”.
Follow-up involved participants responding to questions posed to them by others in their group and facilitators. Principals assisted with assessing the presentations. “They had to observe and score participants based on their responses to questions coming out of the session.”
Nero added that the principals were impressed with the quality of presentations. She noted the usefulness of the experience for the teachers to be interviewed by the CEBM and Education Ministry.
The workshops presented a trifold opportunity: for teachers to grow; principals to get information to guide how they mentor teachers; and to help the CEBM make informed decisions on teachers for its schools.
‘Journey to becoming a Catholic teacher’ is not only about teaching in Catholic schools; “other avenues” for personal development can be explored. A few participants also did the CYC’s ‘Committed’ programme.
Nero said the workshop covers the whole person and evangelisation as well. Responding to a question on the Catholic teacher whose students are mainly non-Catholic, she said, this was a non-issue. “When the teacher goes into the classroom, they are teaching values to the child in front of him or her.”
The majority of teachers in the workshop were female; 16 men took part. —LPG