Invite God into your life and into your teaching.
By Rachel Padilla
For teachers, the summer is a time for rejuvenation and preparation. While planning lessons and taking some time to relax are important, we shouldn’t neglect our spiritual side during this time. Especially as we gear up for a new year, our souls need nourishing. We will not be able to give our best to our students if we do not take time to prepare ourselves spiritually. If we want to teach how to follow God, we ourselves need to be setting the example. We can’t give what we don’t have.
Take Stock of Your Spiritual Life
It’s important to take an honest assessment of yourself and where you are in your walk with Christ. Knowing where you are is vital to planning for the future. Your prayer routines may have fallen by the wayside over the summer months or it may be time to overhaul your spiritual practices.
Make a Retreat
It doesn’t have to be long or intense, but spending at least one day away from noise, distractions, and technology can be truly refreshing. Making a retreat is an excellent way to prepare our hearts and souls for the challenges of the school year. This can be done at a local retreat house or even by spending a day in an Adoration chapel and other quiet locations near you. You may be able to spend a night at a local monastery or convent and use their spaces to pray and reflect.
Schedule Your Spiritual Practices
Life as a teacher can be hectic. To be sure to maintain your spiritual life, as any other area of your life, routine is key. Plan now what your daily, weekly, and monthly spiritual practices are and when you’ll do them. Consider when you will pray, how you may be able to attend daily Mass a few times each week, and how often and when you’ll go to Confession.
Plan How to Bring the Faith into Your Classroom
Once you have planned how you will nourish your soul this year, decide how you can best encourage your students in the faith. Our faith is meant to be shared. How will you incorporate prayer or the saints or lessons in virtue? When students walk in, how will they know they are in the classroom of a Catholic teacher?
Making this year its best includes making it the best spiritually. Preparing your soul for the year ahead is a recipe for success. Don’t let practicalities and paperwork distract you from the spiritual realities. Invite God into your life and into your teaching.
Rachel Padilla is a campus minister in Colorado.
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