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Every month at St. Benedict Classical Academy, the school picks a different virtue to focus on throughout our academic and enrichment classes. We teachers are to take this virtue and teach the students what it means and how we can act out this virtue in our daily lives. Every year in November we focus on the virtue of Gratitude, and every year I like to write this blog post. I always spend time talking about the virtue of Gratitude and then ask my students to write down and share what they are grateful for. For the last five years I have taught Grade 3 here at SBCA and their answers to this prompt about gratitude have always been so beautiful. Many of them talk about how they are grateful for their family and friends, their ability to play sports, the knowledge they have about certain subjects in school, and the gift of the Mass and their faith. This school year, I teach Kindergarten and have observed that because of how young they are, their answers are more simple than those of the third graders (yet just as beautiful). Sometimes it is the simple little things that we take for granted and forget to be thankful for, especially in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and my students reminded me to take time to appreciate our daily gifts from God. I loved reading their answers because it reminded me that I am thankful for these things, too. St. Gianna Beretta Molla said, “The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness.” I think my students captured what St Gianna is saying in their writing because the Lord sends us these simple things every day. We just need to take the time to notice, and give thanks for them. (See below for a few samples of the answers I received from my Kindergarten students.)

This year I am very grateful as well. I am grateful to teach at a school where I am encouraged to grow in my own faith life. This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Fides et Ratio seminars in Oklahoma City with three other SBCA teachers. It was an amazing experience and it had such a positive impact on my own personal faith life. We also just had a faculty retreat day a few weeks ago. During this time we had Mass and prayer together as a faculty during a Holy Hour. We learned more about the value of teaching in a Catholic school, as well as the fruits that can come from doing personal daily Holy Hours. I am very grateful that I work at a school that values and encourages me to grow in my own faith and helps my own students do the same.

AUTHOR: Finlay Cushen, Kindergarten Teacher

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