January 25, 2019

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Teacher offers tips to help students develop their talents

By John Shaughnessy

Lynne LockeIn 26 years of teaching at Catholic schools in the archdiocese, Lynne Locke has developed a definite approach to help students make the most of their talents.

It’s an approach that led to her selection in 2018 as the recipient of the Saint Theodora Excellence in Education Award, the highest honor for a Catholic educator in the archdiocese.

Here are some thoughts about being a Catholic educator from Locke, a junior high school theology and social studies teacher at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis.

Lead by example. “I live what I teach. In teaching the value of each human being, as a child of God, students know they are respected, even when there is a difficult situation. I do make mistakes, and I model reconciliation by readily apologizing to students and/or parents when necessary.”

Set standards. “Keeping standards high for all students is integral to the Catholic notion of justice. All students deserve to be challenged and supported according to their individual needs.

“I do not accept substandard work from any student. Of course, the standard is different for each student. Everyone—including me—can work to improve.”

Provide support. “Just because a student has a higher ability level does not mean that they never need support. Many students—both high and lower ability—come to school bearing burdens, and these burdens affect their ability to grow and learn.”

Act fairly. “Even when disciplinary measures need to be taken, I believe that I act in a just and fair way to students—and that each situation is a learning experience, helping students to understand their actions and the effect this may have on others.”

Serve. “By using my own gifts and talents to help others, I model responsible stewardship and help the students understand that using their God-given talents to serve others is a way of life.”

Work with parents. “Developing a working relationship with parents is crucial to supporting and challenging students. Helping parents to understand their student’s gifts and talents—and how to grow those gifts and talents—is a focus for me.” †

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