January 29, 2016

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Focus on Catholic faith and prayer guides teacher and her students

Teacher Amy Plant listens as Amyah Lewis shares her observations about her project on plant seedlings. (Submitted photo)

Teacher Amy Plant listens as Amyah Lewis shares her observations about her project on plant seedlings. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

As she strives to make faith the central part of her students’ lives, Amy Plant makes sure it has a visible place in her classroom, too.

“My favorite part of my classroom is the Faith Focus wall,” says Plant, a third grade teacher at St. Patrick School in Terre Haute. “On this wall, we have the Beatitudes, common prayers we use daily, the Apostle’s Creed and pictures of all of our families. This wall represents the journey we are taking while becoming Jesus’ disciples in our classroom, school and Church community. The wall has a caption stating, ‘Every child is a story yet to be told.’ ”

Plant has plenty of stories to share about her students, including a favorite from a year she taught children in the first grade.

“This group was full of energy, inquisitiveness and a heaping helping of faith,” says Plant, a finalist for the 2015 Saint Theodora Guérin Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for an educator in the archdiocese.

“Each day, we would always begin religion with our class prayer circle. In previous years, my prayer circle would take about five minutes to pass Prayer Bear around the circle of friends. During that particular year, our prayer circle would last between 15 to 20 minutes.

“Although we were missing out on 10 minutes of science or social studies, I knew that the time spent praying with one another was more important. My students learned to respect each other’s petitions. They learned to listen with an open ear and heart. Most importantly, they learned that their prayers were important to the group and to me.” †
 


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