The soul of education is the education of the soul.
I have no idea who said this really smart thing…I googled and googled but I can’t find a name to give credit to. It certainly isn’t my thought, just one that I heard and took to heart. When I first heard it, I thought it pertained to my role as a teacher but the more I thought about it the wider its meaning became.
Friday was a truly spectacular day at St. Mary School. All Saints Day is a little like Christmas! We always refer to it as a non-academic day but after hearing this quote I think the opposite is true. We don’t take spelling tests or math tests or turn in homework on November 1st. We celebrate the holy men and women who show us what true discipleship really looks like. We focus on the fact that the saints were sinners like us. They did things that were inspiring and fabulous and they had days, weeks and maybe even decades where their lives were a hot mess! Thats good information to know because none of us can keep running the race if perfection is the expectation.
The middle lovelies lined the halls Friday morning with their art exhibits. They each drew the name of a saint and were asked to create an exhibit that depicted one event, action or detail that could bring that saint to life and tell their story. This is the third time we have done Saint Art Prize and I was blown away at their creativity, their enthusiasm and their knowledge. They chatted with dozens and dozens of visitors about their saint and their project with poise and great showmanship. They knew their stuff and they shared what they knew beautifully. One of the kids told me they had spent so much time learning and creating they felt like this saint was a new big sister who would always be looking out for them and guiding them from now on. That seemed like some soul education to me.
The primary lesson in the education of the soul is that we were fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of Our Father and we were made for community. We were not made to be alone yet in our society there are far too many people stumbling through their days in isolation and lonely sadness. Friday afternoon our whole school family was divided into four Houses to make sure that was never the story in our school. There was a huge reveal assembly with colored spotlights and new t-shirts and envelopes ripped open with more excitement that packages on Christmas morning. Everybody has a House…everybody has a family…everybody has a spot in a group made up of K-6th graders to pray with, play with, laugh with and to protect. Knowing you have a House to belong to is good for the soul.
After the roar quieted in the gym and 300 people were divided into their Houses all wearing the same shirt we knelt together and prayed as Fr. Eric brought the Blessed Sacrament to us. We prayed and we promised with the help of Jesus to take care of each other, to pray for and with each other and to help each other grow in sainthood. Our souls were very happy!!
The funny thing was, all of this wasn’t just for the kids. The grown ups felt a new connection and a new spark as well. Sometimes we teach the kids and sometimes they teach us. Hopefully we’re helping each other continue our education of the soul. In the true sense of education, it wasn’t a non-academic day at all, it was an epic education day!
A Seed To Plant: Choose something to read or to watch each day for the remainder of 2019 to educate your soul!
Blessings on your day!!
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