January 27, 2017

2017 Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Service guides educator’s efforts to share Christ’s love

Doug Bauman tries to influence his students at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis by sharing his faith and emphasizing service. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

Doug Bauman tries to influence his students at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis by sharing his faith and emphasizing service. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

By John Shaughnessy

As a father and a Catholic school teacher, Doug Bauman is always looking for the opportunity to share moments that reveal “the incredible sacrificial love that God has for all of us.”

“We as teachers and parents are definitely fighting an uphill battle trying to convince our students that society has it all wrong, and that the real and authentic truth and beauty in life rests in the words and actions of Jesus Christ,” says Bauman, a math teacher at St. Barnabas School in Indianapolis.

Bauman tries to convince his students through the way he treats them with respect and attention, through the example he sets by attending Mass with his family, and through an experience he considers as his most rewarding moment as a teacher—working with his students on the school’s annual canned food drive to help local food pantries.

“All of those cans are able to be donated because of the efforts and sacrifices of our students,” says Bauman, the recipient of the 2016 Saint Theodora Guérin Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for an educator in the archdiocese.

“They went out ‘canning’ in their neighborhoods. They gave up some of their money to purchase cans. They did extra chores around the house to earn ‘can money.’

“When I step into the back of that truck and work side by side with my students loading thousands of canned goods, we get to see a very different and special side of each other. I get to see their humanness firsthand. And they get to see their math teacher make an attempt to pack as many cans as possible into a very confined space. It’s during those moments that I’m reminded why we are here on Earth—to love God and to love one another.”

That lesson of “walking in the light of Christ” is the one that Bauman hopes endures for his students.

“Christ teaches us to love one another as he loved us. Enabling our students to experience that Christ-like love and service firsthand is the one teacher moment that will be forever instilled in my heart.” †

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