January 25, 2019

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

First graders’ faith reflects teacher’s plan to ‘put God first’

By John Shaughnessy

Lindsey MorrisOne of Lindsey Morris’ favorite moments as a teacher involves a non-Catholic, first-grade boy who always wanted to know more about the Catholic faith.

“I was answering non-stop questions for a whole year,” notes Morris, a first-grade teacher at St. Mary School in North Vernon. “I would see a spark in his eyes for the love of God and Catholicism.

“This young boy received his first Communion, reconciliation and confirmation all by himself. He is the only one in his family. He doesn’t miss a Sunday Mass, and his love for the faith still grows. His testimony for this faith is something that will forever have a place in my heart.”

The joy that Morris has in sharing that story reflects her major goal as a teacher.

“I pride myself on making sure I have a relationship with every student,” says Morris, who was a finalist for the 2018 Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for a Catholic educator in the archdiocese.

“I know my students’ interests, needs and wants. I am constantly engaged with my students even after they leave my classroom. One example is in the way I lead our aftercare program after school. I love this because it allows me to reconnect with former students of mine.”

She also continues that connection by serving as the faculty advisor for the school’s student council and by leading the parish’s high school youth group.

“Witnessing my students grow in their faith from first grade up is astounding.”

That feeling is matched by being able to share her love of God and her faith with her students.

“Putting God first is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of my daily planning. I want my students to walk away from school every day and know that in every action and every conversation, we put God first.” †

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