Saturday, March 20, 2010

Being good, one student at a time

when i was a religion teacher, i preached that "religion is not a subject; it is a way of life." i remember how in sophomore year, our teacher, a nun, made us memorize the entire gospel of mark (because it was the shortest of the four). well, i made it through sophomore religion easy. did it make me a better person? hardly.

i am a product of 16 years of catholic schooling, but it was not until i joined a Catholic charismatic community that i finally met Jesus. after having met him, i thought to myself, "i wish that i had known him earlier." and that, ladies and gentlemen, was one of the main reasons why i went into teaching preschool. it couldn't be just any school; it had to be a school that knew Jesus, too. it had to be cradle of joy.

the school's tagline says it all: shaping young hearts and minds for Jesus. i made it my mission to share with kids that Jesus is real, not just a storybook character like snow white or the three little pigs. i wanted the kids to know early what i knew so late in my own life. and they got it!

a few years into my teaching stint, i was asked to teach at the grade school, at first, for english, then later, for religion. the lessons required more structure (no, i didn't make them memorize the entire gospel) and my audience was tougher, but i still taught what i knew and prayed that someone listened.

early this year, i met a COJ alumni after mass. i'll admit that he wasn't the brightest light bulb in the batch, but a good kid, nonetheless. he shared with me that he was doing pretty well in his new school except in 1 subject: religion.

aaaaaaargh! i failed him!

before i could ask him why, he went on to explain that his religion classes were boring and that all they did was memorize, memorize, memorize. (sounds familiar!) he ended by saying, "at least in coj, they taught me how to be a good person."

yesssss! one down, many more to go.