Saturday, May 02, 2009


I spent the last two days student teaching at a high school in Winnipeg. I'm still not sure how I am going to fit in, but I know that this is going to be an extremely stretching experience for me - in a good way. My collaborating teacher and I haven't talked much about specifics of teaching our subject, but we have started to talk at length about the qualities of being a good teacher, and of being a good person.

I had the opportunity to listen to my CT speak to his grade 9 class about responsibility and giving yesterday. He asked the class if they could remember when the last time they did something selfless was, and then asked them when they did something selfish. He asked them when they told their families "I love you". The class was so quiet, so still. It seemed like they were actually absorbing what they were hearing.

My CT asked me my first day, "What is the most important thing about teaching?" I responded, "Besides the students?". He then asked me, "Why would you say that?" I'm starting to understand that maybe that there isn't anything besides the students - and, therefore, there isn't anything besides people. Life comes down to people, not things or ideas or activities or philosophies - people. Relationships. What can we possibly do to fulfill our lives that doesn't involve giving ourselves to other people? I know and everyone else knows deep down that having toys doesn't fulfill you. Neither does getting good grades, being popular, being the best at sports or music, or having a great job. We are only fulfilled by giving ourselves fully to other people. Odd, that - the way to fill yourself is to give yourself away to others. Freely, too - with no strings attached - even altruistic ones.

I pray that as I learn to live, I learn to love through giving myself wholly to others.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Where charity and love are, there God is.