Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Catholic Schools Week

My personal way of celebrating Catholic schools weeks is to open Math class with a simple Hail Mary prayer, and afterwards shout, "I love teaching in a Catholic School!" I love the bewildered faces of the students (and the few knowing smiles among them).

My reason for doing this: my two former positions were a public school and a non-Catholic private school. To finally be at a school where I can not only freely express my faith in and through my work was as much a relief as it was a great joy.

You may not think that the Faith has any bearing whatsoever upon teaching mathematics, but you would be wrong. The question, "How do we know what is true?" is a crucial philosophical question that I pose and try to get students to think about. I clearly state when the answer to the question leaves the "math" territory and enters philosophy, and then theology. How succesful I am at getting teenagers to understand is debatable, but at least at my Catholic school, I can approach the question without fear of getting in trouble. I have a friend in public school who has been disciplined and may eventually be forced out for talking about his beliefs in the science classroom.

Incidentally, the US House of Representatives is honoring Catholic schools, as they usually do. We'll leave the state of U.S. Catholic schools today for another post.


Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

geometricus: I did not know the House had the guts to do that. I'm surprised. I'm surprised the ACLU and Michael Newdow aren't protesting.

9:12 AM  

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