Surprises in the ClassroomMarch 13, 2019
By Paul Carroll, Principal
Dear Parents, Students and Staff,
On a recent walk around the classrooms, I entered a class that was at the very beginning of the lesson. I was expecting the teacher to talk about the learning goals for the lesson and outline what the students would do to achieve those goals.
Instead, the teacher invited the students to practice their newly learnt skills in meditation. The teacher lightly sounded the bell for the meditation to begin and the students immediately assumed the posture for this exercise.
After a few minutes, the bell was sounded again to signify the end of the meditation. The students were invited to talk about the process they undertook.
I left the room soon after as I needed to think about what I had unexpectedly witnessed. I was caught off guard but in a good way. I had to process this event before continuing my plan for the day.
On reflection, this is partly what we should be experiencing in the season of Lent. We are asked to stop and listen. That is a form of prayer and in our highly connected, digital world it takes an effort to disconnect from the “noise” of modern life. But that is what we are asked to do.
The beginning of Lent was emphasised with a very reverent and prayerful liturgy in the gym last Wednesday. The students were provided with a running commentary on the purpose and meaning of Ash Wednesday and the distribution of the ashes.
Lent is a time to remember that often our egos get in the way and we are not our best selves; we become more self-centered rather than others-centered. So as Christians, Lent is a time for us to turn to God who is full of compassion and tenderness. The Greek word for this is metanoia which translates to expressing a “change of heart”.
The Church also recommends fasting (which is an act of self-denial from excessive food or other activities that are not life-giving) and almsgiving (where we donate finances or resources to those less fortunate). The students have the Caritas Project Compassion boxes in their classrooms to make a financial contribution during Lent. You can also donate online to Caritas at this link www.caritas.org.au.
So, at SFX we have begun Lent in a most profound way. The challenge is to maintain the discipline required. Some prayerful meditation may help keep us on task.
Best wishes with your efforts.