Forming hearts and minds this school year

As parents, you send a healthy lunch and pack their backpacks with the necessary supplies. As teachers, you decorate the classroom and prepare an engaging and informational lesson plan. But what can we do to go the extra mile and ensure that our children or students are growing not only in knowledge but also faith and virtue this school year?

Allan Wright, a Catholic author, professor, and school principal, joined Morning Air® to share some advice for all the teachers, students, and parents who have started school in recent weeks.

Choose some holy inspiration for the year

“Do you have a guiding scripture verse that could sort of guide you through the year?” asks Allan Wright. He suggested Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God”, or Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Wright recommends that you pray to discern which verse God has planned for you this year that could be on your classroom door, written in your student planner, or wherever you do your studying or teaching. You could also adopt a patron saint for your class or child this school year—asking them to intercede for you and learning more about them through the year.

teacher helps student
Involve parents in the process

As a theology teacher, Wright likes to get parents involved in the child’s faith formation. He tries to include parents in weekly homework assignments where kids will reflect on something like a scripture verse and then ask their parents what it means to them or how the family might incorporate the teaching into their family life.

“Any time you can get parents and students talking about the faith together outside of the immediate church situation, it does stir up thought, dialogue, and it’s the Word of God that really is alive and active,” says Wright.

Find out what your kids are learning

Whether your children are in weekly faith formation classes or attend Catholic schools, find out what they are learning. As a high school theology teacher, Wright rarely had parents asking what was being taught—during orientation and conferences there would be lines to see math or science teachers, but religion classes were often forgotten.

“Parents need to let teachers know that, ‘Hey, this is important to us. I am concerned about grades, SATs, future, but what’s going on in theology class?’” said Wright. He tells parents to pray for your kids’ teachers and be involved in their education by having conversations with your kids about their lessons.

“Pray for your teachers, pray for the administrators certainly in a Catholic school environment, that they would be faithful to the mission of Christ to teach as Jesus taught. And recognize that grades and where you go to school—that’s not the endgame. The endgame is for us to be people of character, young men and women of faith.”

Learn more about forming your kids’ hearts, minds, and souls in the full segment with Allan Wright:

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.