As teachers, we need prayer, and prayer perfects our teaching. Become a Member of the
Bl. Basil Moreau Confraternity and join
one another through prayer, and benefiting from the prayers of priests and religious offering their
prayers and sufferings for your work.
Reading: From Christian Education by Bl. Basil Moreau
Students and Student-Teacher Relations
It would be a serious mistake to open a school imagining that all the students will be alike in character and conduct. Providence varies all of its works. If two plants of the same family, apart from similar characteristics, have obvious differences, it is no less true that in the group of students given to you there are no two who have the exact same mind and heart. It will do little good then to use the same procedures in working with every student. You would be like a doctor who always gives the same remedy for every illness.
This in itself should be enough to point out the importance of beginning the year or semester by studying your students. If you are taking the place of another teacher in a class, it is important to gain all of the information the other teacher can give you about the students. In order to facilitate this study, which requires a lot of attention, there are some things you can look for to help you understand the different types of students you will be educating.
You can use the following information to determine the most suitable way to approach each student. Never forget that all teaching lies in the best approach to an individual student, that all the successes you find will be in direct proportion to the efforts you have made in this area. In the different natures of young people, one can actually distinguish several characteristics marking them as poorly brought up or spoiled by their parents, unintelligent, self-centered, opinionated, insolent, envious, without integrity, immature, lazy, or in poor health.
Young People Who Are Spoiled or Have Poor Upbringing
There are young people for whom parents show little care. These young people never do what their parents want, never follow directions, and murmur at the least thing that goes against what they think they desire. They are often dirty, disgusting, and unpolished. They are sometimes impertinent, impolite, teasing, and extravagant, openly yawning, making faces, mimicking the faults of teachers and students. They are children spoiled by indulgence who will tire at the least hint of work and who will become disconcerted at the least punishment. They have become accustomed to seeing their least wishes satisfied and having all their little whims gratified.
Often students who have been poorly brought up are those from rich families, who think of themselves as being so superior as to give themselves an air of authority over their fellow students and independence from their teachers and who believe that they have a right to special consideration and attentions. If it happens that someone makes fun of their ridiculous pretensions, they complain to their parents of poor treatment.
Such young people have great need of being formed by proper education. To achieve this requires much patience, kindness, and charity. A teacher will have to treat them with considerable indulgence, because if they have all these faults, it is not due to a shallow spirit or bad judgment or a poor internal disposition but because they have been left to grow up without direction. You must show them a lot of kindness, display an interest in them, and correct them when necessary, but always in a fatherly manner; when you do correct them, give them only easy punishments that will really help them.
It is also good to have contact with parents in such situations in order to anticipate the accusations and recriminations of the young person and to support your own authority with theirs. This is a troublesome and delicate task. Expect to have a lot of duplicity and annoyance, but strengthen yourself by remembering the example given by our Lord: he also educated, not only children and young parents but also persons already advanced in age and consequently possessing all the prejudices and the bad habits that people so often pick up in the course of their lives.
In fact, recall that the apostles, chosen and formed in the school of our Lord, were unsophisticated, unlettered, and taken from the lowest class of society and combined a lack of education with a lot of ambition, self-love, and egotism. Admire the unchanging gentleness and untiring zeal that the Lord always showed. In all his teaching and actions, he tried only to inform them, to instruct them, and to make new men of them. As teachers, then, meditate on this example and try to pattern your own teaching after it.§
Meditation — Andrew Seeley
My most important parenting maxims I learned from an aunt who never had children of her own. She was a public school teacher for over thirty years. By the time she retired, she was teaching what she described as “a third generation of unparented children.” She would have immediately recognized Blessed Basil’s description of spoiled students (and their often difficult parents). Blessed Basil would have approved of her response — love and discipline. She not only felt love for them, she made clear to them that their welfare was her preeminent concern. She never overreacted to their antics, but she also never let them disrupt the classroom. It wasn’t long before they realized that her respectful but firm discipline was just another face of her loving concern for them.
Have I found time to focus on my students individually, especially those who need attention the most? Do I regularly discuss their strengths and weaknesses, possibilities and needs, with fellow teachers in order to determine the most effective approaches to help them? Do I pray for patience and peace to avoid overreacting to a student’s bad behavior?
O Lord, Blessed Basil encouraged me to meditate on the example You left of dealing with the many faults of Your disciples. What a blessing to realize that in my struggles as a teacher I am striving to conform myself to You. I beg You to make my meditation profitable, so that my students may know Your loving care in my classroom.
(Please also offer one Mass and one Rosary some time this month for the intentions of the members of the Confraternity.)
Please pray for the needs of your fellow teachers:
For the virtues of perseverance and studiousness as I begin graduate studies in philosophy of education. – Tomas
Lord Jesus, bless Annemarie, who is in the hospital, and her husband.
For inspiration, guidance, and blessings for a start-up school working with their home diocese–that the Lord will guide all parties to perfectly carry out his will.
The father of a student of one of our members has died, leaving behind a young family. We pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family, as well as for wisdom and peace for his teacher and the rest of the school community.
Please pray for Phil, a doctor from Denver, CO, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Phil is the father of 7 young children.
Please pray for the family of Matthew and Terrie Walz. Matthew is a professor at the University of Dallas, and a friend of the Institute. Terrie’s father has been diagnosed with brain tumor; the CoVid crisis has made getting treatment difficult and dangerous.
For the healing and containment of the Coronavirus disease and for all those who have been affected – physically, economically, and spiritually.
Please pray for Fr. John Belmonte, SJ, Superintendent in the Diocese of Joliat, Illinois, who will soon be undergoing surgery to repair a broken shoulder.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Suzanne Fessler, long-time principal at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix, who oversaw the transition of the high school to a focus on the development of wisdom and virtue.
For Father Frank Brawner and his health, healing, and continued strength in his ministry – Susan
For the healing of Shirley Balangue, mother of Cyril Cruz, Principal of Holy Innocents School in Long Beach, CA.
For the continued health and healing of Simon Vander Weele, son of Rosemary and Jon Vander Weele of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Classical School in Denver, CO
Pray for healing for Mr. K., Latin teacher at an ICLE member school. We ask for healing and relief from fluid buildup in the lung and cancer.
Please pray for a wonderful theology professor who is undergoing persecution for upholding Catholic teaching on sexuality – Andrew
My wife’s conversion to Catholicism – Adam
Increase in fertility, marriage, families; for grandparents; for a special spouse for a friend – Rosemary
For the Holy Spirit’s increase in the hearts of all concerned with Catholic education in the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese, especially that He lead us into deeper prayer, greater intimacy with Him – Leslie
Souls in Purgatory especially those who have no one to pray for them; those in the Bahamas and elsewhere affected by natural disasters – Lisa
Please pray that I teach and love my students and teachers as would Christ the Teacher – Joseph & Juliana
For a new teacher in 5th grade; for our Johnsburg Catholic school to become Classical Liberal Arts; for increase in marriage, fertility, families; for young adults’ conversion and love for Jesus and His Church – Rosemary
Help making good choices about family issues – Susan
That our parish school community would grow as an evangelizing community, proclaiming, encountering and responding to the kerygmatic proclamation of Jesus Christ – Nathalie
That Catholic schools and parents be of one heart and one mind by creating their institutions and homes coherently, as “missionary outposts of the Universal Church” with one goal: that the truth of all things, beginning and ending in Jesus Christ, be known and loved through the details in everything – Ruth
For teachers everywhere – Chris