“Teaching at Our Lady of Charity is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world,” says Sarah Slack, a member of the Hernandez Fellows’ 14th cohort. “I was homeschooled for middle-school, and my mom did this three o’clock hour with us every day. We would all come to the kitchen table, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and then she would read to us. That’s how we read the whole Narnia series. I remember those times being, truly, so peaceful. That time was when my faith started to become my own and really started to flourish, so I wanted to try to do something like that for my kids.”
Like most teachers, Sarah was physically separated from her students before the end of this school year due to precautions taken during the Covid-19 pandemic. Families all over the world are struggling right now, so Sarah wanted to do something to foster connection virtually with her fifth graders in Cicero, Illinois, something that children and adults could—for a short time each day—turn to and simply listen. Sarah says, “We start with a prayer, we are thinking of everything that’s going on, we’re asking God to help, and then we relax for the rest of the time.”
Sarah describes the English as a New Language program as a blessing. “The people I’ve met are some of my greatest resources and I use the tools daily,” she says. One of the concepts she is implementing is “meaningful input,” giving her students access to appropriate grade-level reading materials. While they can’t be in the classroom together, Sarah plans on meeting virtually each weekday to continue The Chronicles of Narnia adventure. With permission from HarperCollins, she will read C.S. Lewis’ seven book series with plans to finish by the end of May.
Join her weekdays at 3:00 pm CT on the Our Lady of Charity Facebook page!
Exciting News: We have decided to proactively move our ENL licensure certification program, the ENL Hernandez Fellows, entirely online for the 2020-21 year. Please consider using your title funds to send teachers to join us online over the summer, fall, and spring semesters. This program will uniquely prepare your teachers to best serve your English learners when they return in the fall.