Meet the teacher on the cover of the Fall 2019 issue of Today’s Catholic Teacher.
Music, laughter, and fun bring joy to preschool classroom
Name: Sr. Joseph Margaret. I am an Oblate Sister of St. Francis de Sales.
School: Mount Aviat Academy, Childs, Maryland
Grade and subject you teach: Preschool
Tell us about your family: There are 11 children in my family, and I am the third oldest. There was lots of noise, always someone to play with, and something going on.
When you were the age of your students, what did you want to be when you grew up? As the teacher of a group of four- and five-year-olds, I am reminded of my carefree days as a child. I don’t remember having any real desire to “be” anything when I grew up, but I knew it had to be something where I would be with children and there would always be music, laughter, and fun.
What are you reading right now? I am reading all of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems with my students because they are a lot of fun. The children can relate to the different situations the characters get themselves into as well as see how they can solve problems in various ways.
Is your desk at school messy or neat? I am embarrassed to say that my desk is not the neatest. I am not a person that worries about order. It is more important that I spend time with the children, playing, talking, and listening to them.
Who is your classroom’s patron saint, and why? Our classroom saint is St. Leonie Aviat, the foundress of our congregation and the patroness of our school. Our students learn about her life and how she spent her time helping others. Her motto was “Let us work for the happiness of others,” and each child in our school is encouraged to embrace that.
What have you always wanted to learn? I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar so I could use it in my classroom.
What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate at school? If I had to pick one, it would be Christmas. I love to watch the children who are still full of the wonder only a child can have. This is often the first year they understand what Christmas is all about, and they are ready to open their hearts to welcome Jesus.
What about your students makes you proudest? They are open to learning, and they try very hard to be the best they can be. When they are kind to each other, help cheerfully, and come running into the classroom each day happy to be here and ready to learn, I feel so happy and blessed to have them in my life.
What do you like best about your school? Everyone is willing to help. Sisters, teachers, staff, and children working together makes for a wonderful place to work.
What’s your favorite classroom prayer? My favorite classroom prayer is the spontaneous prayer that comes from the children. After we say our Morning Offering, the children are invited to pray for their special intentions. I love listening to them pray for each other and their families. At the end we always tell Jesus that we love him, and that is a wonderful way to complete our prayer.
How can we find you online? MountAviat.org
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