Education

Working in a Catholic School

A Rewarding Challenge

As a teacher in a Catholic school, how might I best respond to best working there?

All people within the Catholic school community should work towards fulfilling the mission statement through these three key areas.

Worship

“Prayer, worship and liturgical celebration are central to our Catholic tradition. It is of prime importance, however, that sound educational and pastoral principles determine the ways in which these are experienced in the school community” (Evaluating the Distinctive Nature of a Roman Catholic school, 3rd Edition 1994: CES).

As a teacher in a Catholic school you can make its distinctiveness real by:

•praying with pupils;

•helping children to reflect on their prayer;

•encouraging children to create their own prayer;

•enabling pupils to participate in liturgy;

•fostering a quiet and prayerful environment;

•celebrating prayer and learning through assemblies;

•participating in staff prayer;

•praying and reflecting on your work;

•working with the parish priest/chaplain;

•sharing with pupils in Eucharistic and other liturgical celebrations.

Relationships

“Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13,34).

The distinctiveness of the Catholic school is lived out through the care and respect we show for each other.

As a teacher in a Catholic school you can make its distinctiveness real by:

•enjoying a personal and professionally appropriate relationship with each pupil;

•treating disruptive pupils fairly and allowing them to maintain their dignity;

•respecting the diverse backgrounds of pupils;

•being professional in your relationships with other staff;

•being honest in your relationships with parents;

•encouraging positive relationships between pupils;

•providing opportunities for reconciliation and forgiveness;

•reflecting on your relationships with other members of staff and with pupils;

•reflecting on the relationships between pupils in your care.

Managing the Curriculum

“Teachers should remember that they are principally responsible for a Catholic school’s ability to put into effect its aims and projects” (De Educatione Christiana).

The distinctiveness of the Catholic school must be experienced by the pupils in the classroom.

As a teacher in a Catholic school you can help make its distinctiveness real by:

•effectively planning work for your class/teaching groups;

•preparing lessons thoroughly;

•differentiating work according to the ability of each pupil;

•knowing and valuing pupils as individuals;

•explaining work clearly to pupils;

•including all pupils in discussion;

•being patient with pupils who have difficulty understanding work;

•taking time to listen to pupils and valuing their responses;

•valuing pupils’ work through your responses;

•playing an active role in curriculum development;

•providing pupils with a positive role model;

•creating a purposeful atmosphere in the classroom;

•celebrating pupils’ achievements;

•providing appropriate resources;

•using the environment and resources well and demonstrating appropriate care for them;

•relating Gospel values to everyday situations in class;

•being consistent with the values expressed in the mission statement;

•knowing and following guidelines in the staff handbook/curriculum policies;

•keeping full and accurate records of progress made by pupils;

•providing a safe environment in which pupils can learn;

•creating an environment in which we listen to each other’s point of view;

•being fully aware of the school’s policy in relation to sensitive issues;

•reflecting on and discussing with other staff how to respond appropriately;

•being fully involved in the school’s professional development programme.