I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has opened many peoples’ eyes to the role that teachers play as part of the basic fabric of society. In the midst of this crisis and with support from parents and communities, teachers and students at Guardian Catholic School are carrying on very well. All of us have been reminded of what learning and teaching entails: the preparation, the instruction, the assignments, the projects, fluency with technology and motivating the students to high quality performance.
If I were asked to identify the teacher who changed my life, it would be entirely impossible for me to do that. In thinking about all the teachers I’ve had from elementary school through graduate school, I have to say that the great majority of them had some positive influence on me, one way or another.
It has been this “great majority” who has transformed the ordinary responsibilities of teaching the countless day-in-and-day-out responsibilities into the extraordinary feat of education.
After saying this, I would like to share a bit about one of the most influential women in my life. Sr. Madelena Pohlman, my mentor teacher. As a first year teacher, I was assigned to her 6th grade classroom to assist her as she was experiencing some health problems. As I look back I probably added a headache or two to her life. Sister Madelena embodied all the core educational values of an SND educator. In addition, she led quietly and courageously, served generously and was committed to serving all.
When I didn’t see hope or the possibilities in those middle school students, she saw their greatness. She seemed to see how each student, including myself, learned best. Reflective and contemplative, Sister Madelena taught me a lifelong lesson – “pause and reflect” not “respond or react.”
I am forever grateful to Sister Madelena and all the teachers who have impacted my life.
I am grateful to each and every teacher, teacher aide and staff member who is going above and beyond "to help each student attain their potential through high quality Catholic education in a Christ-centered environment that inspires each of us to think, learn, achieve, pray and serve our communities".
Let’s all take this “unique” occasion to gain a newfound appreciation for teachers.
Perhaps you may want to take some time to reflect on an educator who has influenced your life.
Sr. Cynthia Shaffer, SND
Our mission is to help each student attain their potential through high quality Catholic education in a Christ-centered environment that inspires each of us to think, learn, achieve, pray and serve our communities.