One of my students responded. He began to describe how his prejudgments of taking Church History included the belief that it would basically be another class of receiving information to remember and recite. After just one week in class, he indicated that his perception had already changed. He recognized that the way in which information was being offered in class was meant to provoke and engage his entire person. He was being challenged to judge the information presented in terms of his experience. Looking forward, he commented this method was preparing him for life, teaching him how to think.
At the beginning of each year, I tell all of my students, “I’m not here for you to take my ideas as your own. My job as an educator is to give you a method for which to judge the things I will teach you.” To my seniors in Church History, I add, “And this method is based on experience of over 2000 years.” I was struck by the reaction from this student because it corresponded to the desire I have for my classroom to be an environment in which each of my students might flourish. It was also a call to something greater, a reminder of how my actions, words, as well as deeds unseen affect more than myself. Everyday, I am faced with the reality of being a source of inspiration or failing to inspire. Lord, give me the grace to see that the students I accompany are also accompanying me in my own journey towards realizing my destiny.