One of the valuable lessons I would propose from the Pandemic is the value of human interaction, especially in-person instruction for the sake of the well-being of the students, faculty and staff. For all the impressiveness of recent innovations in technology, such as Zoom, in-person instruction is invaluable. Catholic Schools have shown their dedication to their students by striving as soon as possible to get back in person, compared to many public schools. In fact, the AP recently reported, “Enrollment in US Catholic Schools Rebounds After Sharp Drop” reporting “Catholic schools’ dedication in safely opening classrooms and supporting their communities’ needs last year is demonstrated in the 3.8% increase in enrollment.”
I would also highlight the importance of investing in the lives of the students we serve. Taking time as a teacher or principal to attend your students’ sports game or musical performance helps to build human community in the school and effectiveness in the classroom. Knowing students’ extra-curricular interests positively impacts relationships, the school culture, and enhances the students’ own perceptions of their abilities which, in turn, encourages students to grow and increases their desire to learn.
May the Lord give us the grace to invest deeply in the students entrusted to our care. Evangelization depends upon it.
Father Paul Kostka