Today was our faculty retreat. While many were looking forward to this day, there may have been others who would have rather been somewhere else. Regardless of how you feel about today’s retreat, I believe that all who read this would expect to see a faculty retreat day as part of the life of Marist High School or any Catholic school.
Some have asked, “What can we get in one day that will help us in the remaining days of the school year?” I can’t answer that, but I do believe that what we brought to the retreat determined what we got out of the retreat.
In my introduction of our speaker, Joe Paprocki, I quoted Parker Palmer, author of The Courage to Teach. Palmer defines the “courage to teach” as this:
“Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one’s inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach, I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of bring together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look into that mirror, and not run from what I see, I have the chance to gain self-knowledge – and self-knowledge is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.”
Today’s retreat was about what we see in the mirror that teaching holds up to our souls. It was also about knowing that we are not alone. There are about 150 other men and women at Marist on journeys like our own. While our journey may be different, we can still journey together and, like good travelers, give to others when they need it and receive from others when we need it.
This Monday Minute is from Brother Hank Hammer