Written By Brenda King
“God has truly smiled on me.” This is always my answer whenever I am asked, “How do you like teaching in a Catholic school?”
I was a teacher for 28 years before taking a job at a Catholic school, but it is truly a blessing to walk through the doors of John Paul II Regional School in Stratford each morning where I now teach third grade.
Recently I was told that I would be shadowed by a potential student. As teachers, we all know that being the “new kid” can be unnerving, to say the least. So on the day of the shadowing I was worried. How would my students treat him? Would he be ostracized? And what would I do if these things happened?
During prayer that morning I prayed for God’s guidance, to give me the words that would help this new child and all of my students show acceptance.
As it turns out, all of my worries were unfounded. Every student in my classroom welcomed the prospective student with open arms. Throughout the day, my students could be heard not only helping our new friend but also telling him what a great job he was doing. I was never more proud to call myself a “teacher.” The boys and girls taught me a lesson that day. The values and love that we learn in our school are a part of them.
Our shadow, Matthew Salamon, decided that John Paul II was the school for him and is now a part of our class. He was supposed to shadow at another school, but told his parents that he wanted to be in our classroom because we made him feel so welcome.
Brenda King teaches third grade at Saint John Paul II Regional School, Stratford.