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Catholic Social Teaching

Actions for Catholic Social Teaching

Everard Carpen posted May 24, 2017
How does the information in your article connect to your own practice as
a K-P/J, J/I or I/S teacher?
The starting point of my teaching is always to treat the person before me with
dignity, seeing in them a reflection of the divine: the person of Christ. We reflect
theses 10 principles by the quality of our relationships and by the compassion that
we show in our daily interactions with colleagues and students. As a Catholic
teacher, I acknowledge that I am an ambassador of the faith and associated with an
educational institution that strives toward the common goal of forming holistic
young people. As a deacon, I try to live my work as a vocation and a service and
not just a job. In my classes, I support the learning of each student so that they
may develop their potential, and experience success and achievement in their
course of studies. Alongside other teachers, we encourage our students to
participate not only in their own education but prepare them to participate in the
world of work and to be responsible citizens within society.
Whenever the topic allows, I encourage students to considered the Churchs social
teaching on 'preferential for the poor.' I refer to the biblical stories where Jesus
engaged the outcasts and sinners, acting counter-culturally to some of the views of
his day. Like many teachers, I try and remain sensitive to the students who are
struggling for one reason another. As a teaching body our whole raison d'etre is
towards the common good of the whole school community, which has a knock on
effect on local communities and wider society.

What idea do you have for implementing one or more themes in your
professional practice?
I would like to highlight 3 principles: Human life, stewardship, and preferential
option for the poor.
As an occasional teacher in high schools, I very often have a few minutes to
introduce a topic or add a reflection on the topic set for the class. So, for example
in geography classes I can often talk about care for the earth, attitudes to the
sacredness and interdependence of our ecosystems. In religion and English and
social sciences, I orientate discussion or reflection to the gift and sacredness of
human life. With older groups, we have discussed the teaching of the Church on life
from the 'womb to the tomb,' and explore the underlying theology for this
perspective. Sometimes, I will begin a class with a reflection on our uniqueness
and giftedness; and that each of us have talents that are needed to help build up a
just, safe, and good society - everyone has a place and everyone has a role. Some
of these class starter activities are effective seed sowing exercises and springboard
us into good discussion. These ten building blocks really capture much of what goes
on in schools each day and so it is good to have the opportunity to consciously
make the connections and remind ourselves that these threads exist in our day -
and, of course, there is always room for improvement.