January 26, 2018

2018 Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Helping children make a connection with God guides teacher

Janice Narwold, second-grade teacher at St. Louis School in Batesville, shares a smile with two of her students, Ray Walke and Madi Dierckman. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

Janice Narwold, second-grade teacher at St. Louis School in Batesville, shares a smile with two of her students, Ray Walke and Madi Dierckman. (Photo by John Shaughnessy)

By John Shaughnessy

BATESVILLE—The three words have always left a lasting impression on Janice Narwold in her 20 years of teaching in a Catholic school.

For her, they’re the three words from a child that let her know she is making a difference.

You understand me.

“It is such a simple statement, yet so impactful when expressed from a student to a teacher. In all my experience, this is the greatest compliment I have received,” notes Narwold, a second-grade teacher at St. Louis School in Batesville who was a finalist for the 2017 Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for an educator in the archdiocese.

That compliment reflects one of Narwold’s main goals as a teacher—“to meet the needs of each student, and to make a special connection with each.”

She also strives to help her students make a special connection with God.

“God has created every child to be a unique learner with a tremendous amount to offer to the world,” she says. “I want each child to be who God created them to be, and hope to push them to grow into that unique person that I know is within each of them.

“As a teacher, I plan lessons that educate the whole child. I teach children that they are gifts from God. I teach them that we need to take care of ourselves. I teach them that we each are special to God.”

Her teaching reflects her view that “quality Catholic education is educating the mind, body and spirit of each child.”

“I integrate Catholic teaching and doctrine in my curriculum by asking the Holy Spirit to guide my lessons and my students. We take time to make sure we put God in our lesson and thank God for the opportunity to learn in such a great school.

“I also look for those ‘teachable moments’ where I can add God’s message to make for a more impactful Catholic education, and to help each student take one more moment to think about God.” †

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