April 10, 2010

With Sincerest Apologies - - -

I hesitantly begin this post.

...Because I KNOW it's a gonna be cheezy.

I blame it on hormones (only women themselves are permitted to blame ANYTHING on hormones -)

Keeping this in mind as you continue....

Here we go.

On Friday morning, after my second incident of 'there's something caught in my eye, that's why you see tears welling up, up in there...I swear!!!', I decided I have become even more of a sappy sap than I've ever been.

And to know me is to know I was always so cheezy and gooey that it was almost on the brink of gross.

 So here's my post about why I love love love teaching in the Catholic system.

 And no - this is not being written in the hopes that the 'powers that be' become enticed and or inspired and or persuaded that Catholic Education is important.

It's a post for me - yup, selfish old me.

Oh. And You of course! If you are interested.

So at our little small town school, we have a mass every first Friday of the month and also during any other important religious celebration and/or school celebration.

Friday was my first school mass and it was AWE-SOME.

I've always loved mass - mostly for the singing aspect. It's embarrassing to sit with me, really. I sing like I am a pop star. All emotional and expressive and Celine Dion-like. You may even catch me beating my chest with purpose. It is THAT embarrassing.

But I love school masses for a different reason: it's still the community aspect of it - but it is the MY SCHOOL community of it. It's like we're all in this secret little martyr-y club...That's the energy I feel, anyhow: The teachers doing good for the students and the well-behaved students there to impress the teachers. Oh and we're also all there to pray (of course)!

There's just a vibe to Friday school masses that cannot be explained. It's a moment in time when everyone is calm and peaceful and together.

And then the class that was putting on the mass sang Michael Row Your Boat Ashore - and never mind who was putting the mass on - those children just got me all choked up!!!

I never realized how special it is to hear children singing. (Well when it sounds good anyhow). And I never really appreciated a song like Michael Row Your Boat Ashore until Friday.

And there I was - my students at my side. The school gathered and holy - and I am pathetically tearing up. Oh man. Embarrassing.

I am springing eye-leaks all over.!!! Just the day before I went to watch our Glee Club (oh yah we are THAT up with the times) singing a song and I teared up then too! Good Lord (and I say that with the greatest of respect).

But I just love that we can all stop for a moment and join in a mass together as a school. And actually admit that school is just so much more than subjects and curriculum. It is a COMMUNITY. Together in there we are ONE. And when my teacher-colleague hands me the host and we exchange looks that say something only WE understand (and we smirk) and I continue along feeling a part of something much greater than myself - I know - that there's something to this keeping religion in our schools, thing. 

Because so often we as teachers don't get to stop and think outside our immediate profession. We don't get to step back from our classroom and our students and look at them as part of a community of people rather than the little (sometimes) stinkers whom we try to mold but are often stubbornly un-mold-able...

And while so often behaviour in schools can be an issue, more often than not, in mass, we're all calm and collected. (That is, both students and teachers!)!


It's a miracle, really.

And I love it...

And after mass, when we all leave the church and head out to recess, and I am singing the hymns down the hall merrily, I realize just how happy and day-altering the mass was...For me, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

And when I catch another teacher or student humming Michael Row Your Boat Ashore I know - I KNOW I am not the only one who was cheezily and most positively affected by the morning at mass.

I heart church. I heart the community. I heart the music. And I heart how the students become so amazingly peaceful.

And I heart teaching in a Catholic community - regardless of all the politics. 


*ps. I heart the guitar-club teacher the mostest *wink*


  1. Anonymous10.4.10

    I know exactly what you mean. I always enjoyed our worship services at R. We started each morning in the Chapel for prayers, hymns, and spiritual teachings and, on Fridays, we had a full service after lunch. Students were packed like sardines into the pews (the entire Chapel was completely full) for each of these services. It's probably the only activity/common experience we all did together. You're so right -- it's uplifting to feel like you're part of something bigger and that you're all in it together, as a community. And, well, the music seems to have made a big impression on me... ;)


  2. yay for the teachers in the Catholic schools. They give kids the BEST start in life, IMO. Teaching respect for themselves and other humans. The "bullying" we've heard so much about just does not occur in that environment.

    Both my children went to Catholic schools from K-8, and I am thankful for the great start they got in life.

  3. oh ladies. I am glad you are both on the same page. I feel cheezy. but I love love love sharing this special time with my students and my peers. And Le - hm. Never would have guessed that the music was an important part of it for you;-)! It's amazing how it can resonate our childhood even today...!

  4. Anonymous11.4.10

    This is why I love you, SB. You notice the things that others take for granted and make us appreciate the small things we have to be thankful for.
    You think you're sappy? Just reading your post made my eyes fill with tears.
    Mass is the one time of the month when the kids are united and you don't have to think about curriculum!
    The rendition of Michael Row the Boat Ashore was awesome... especially when all the kids started clapping along. I was having a hard time singing because I couldn't wipe the huge smile off my face.
    Thanks for validating the guitar club because sometimes I want to quit but you just inspired me to keep doing it!
    ps. I heart you too! : )

  5. I found you through Friday Follow. I am following you now. I hope you'll get a chance to come follow our chaos at http://www.amundsenhouseofchaos.com/351/
    See you soon

  6. Anonymous12.4.10

    I couldn't agree more! LOVE this post and it reminds me of how awesome that first Friday of the month is. I love chatting with the kiddies as we exit the church and then they skip off to the playground and I skip in to go indulge in Friday treats with nearly everyone on staff. The guitar club is so cool and it's definitely one thing I really wish I could play! I love our ND piano player and the great songs she teaches the kiddies. SB, remember our return to OLI when we went to mass... I well up constantly at mass and I enjoying observing my class as they try to behave and sneak peaks of their teacher to see if s/he is watching them!
    Awwww, miss you guys!!!!!!
    Love, SS
    p.s. In the nice weather maybe Sofia and I will try to attend a mass... alth' the kid doesnt wake up until 9am, so maybe not!

  7. oh I remember ss - totally - totally!!!

    I miss looking for you at friday mass...

    soon my friend! soon!


Thanks for your thoughts!


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