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Be Thou My Vision, O Lord of My Heart

Monday, February 24, 2020 by Sarah Perkins - National Adjunct Faculty, The Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program

Be Thou My Vision

One of my favorite hymns to sing in prayer or at Mass is set to the Irish folk tune Slane. I grew up knowing this hymn as “Lord of All Hopefulness”:

Lord of all hopefulness,
Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can destroy;
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day…

Recently, I discovered another set of words to this tune, which were new to me but (apparently!) have been widely in use for decades:

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light...

Though this version employs a structure and a vocabulary that wouldn’t come naturally to me in spoken prayer, I am finding it easy to sing, particularly to my three-month-old son, Joseph. I am especially drawn to the core petition of this hymn: Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.

What would it look like to live each day with the Lord as my “vision”?

I think my 3-month old son Joseph is my best model of this way of seeing. From their earliest days, babies love to fix their gaze on faces. Joseph’s gaze is steady and true. He delights in having his siblings, John and Mary, get close to his face so he can make direct eye contact with them, prompting them to exclaim excitedly, “Mom! He’s looking right at me – and smiling!” I’m convinced that this is how God looks at us: lovingly, joyfully, and directly. I hope to learn to look at God – and the people in my life – in the same way. 

In a world in which so much can distract me and pull at my attention, I’m comforted to remember that all of us, as infants, very quickly developed the skill of gazing right at those we love the most. Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart. Joseph’s example, and this hymn, remind me to keep my eyes “fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) as I go about my daily tasks.

Today, as we serve our students, communities, and families, may we be blessed with the eyes of faith to see the Lord at work in our lives and in our vocations. In times of joy and of trouble, may we lift our eyes and our hearts to God.

Voices for Inclusion

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 by Diane Freeby & Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

Raise Your Voice for Inclusion

“Being part of PIE has been one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences I have encountered, both personally and professionally.”

Colleen Wanner is a first-grade teacher at The Frances Xavier Warde School in Chicago and recently completed the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE)’s 18-credit hour program. As a member of the second PIE cohort, Colleen speaks for many when she touts the benefits of furthering  professional development in order to become truly inclusive. 

How Mountain Biking is Like School Change

Monday, February 10, 2020 by Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay

Blended Learning Change Management - Higher-Powered Learning at the Alliance for Catholic Education

Mountain bikers must consider many factors to maximize their workouts, but the most important factor is fun maximization.

Similarly, when instituting a change like blended learning in an entire school, plenty of factors should be considered to maximize teacher and student learning. But the most important factor is altering the learning culture at a school. I have found quite a few parallels between mountain biking and instituting school change.

We Are Called

Tuesday, February 04, 2020 by Kevin Fitzsimmons

Alliance for Catholic Education - We Are Called 

“Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without pay, give without pay.” – Matthew 10:6-8

One of my favorite Catholic hymns is “We Are Called.” (Maybe you have heard it at an ACE Mass or two?)

A staple in the Gather Hymnal, this is one that I would belt out even when I was a self-absorbed middle school boy, concerned with what all my peers thought about me. Over time, and as my faith matured, I grew more attentive to the lyrics of the hymns, and in “We Are Called” there’s a clear theme. It’s about others and how we should act toward them.

Act with justice.

Love tenderly.

Serve one another.

Falling in Love with Service

Monday, February 03, 2020 by John T. McCarthy IV - ACE Intern and member of ACE 27

This post is authored by John T. McCarthy IV, an ACE Teaching Fellows Intern and member of ACE 27. A Science Pre-professional and Theology major at the University of Notre Dame, John will graduate in May of 2020. 

John McCarthy - Falling in Love with Service 

ACE first appeared on my radar the summer after my freshman year, when the well-known Father Joe Corpora found out that I was going to be on campus during the summer and asked me to work for him. 

During that summer, I took classes and helped Fr. Joe with all the miscellaneous things that have to be done to smoothly run conferences for ACE like the Latino Enrollment Institute and the School Pastors’ Institute. 

How to Make Your PD Stick

Monday, January 27, 2020 by Francesca Varga

Higher-Powered Learning - ACE Blended Learning

The research on professional development (PD) is clear: change is tough! Research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on PD states that “far too many teachers have reported that current professional development offerings are neither relevant nor effective.”

Another research point made by CoSN links the hurdle to the sustainability of innovative programs with the lack of agility, strategies, and mindsets necessary to move from a few classrooms to an entire school. In order to overcome these barriers, we grounded our coaching framework in the research and adapted it for our schools’ use.

A Frassati Intern's Experience in LA

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Kateri Budo - Frassati Fellow, Cohort 2

frassatikaateriblog 1

“I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan” …

Well not exactly, but that didn't stop me from humming this tune when I first arrived in Los Angeles for my internship with the Specialty Family Foundation this past summer.

I had a lot of thoughts about what the Frassati Internship would entail, but, to be honest, I didn’t know what exactly to expect.  

A Hesitation, and a Jump

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 by Andrew Hamaty, C.S.C. - ACE 22 Mission

Andrew Hamaty CSC - A Hesitation, and a Jump

“Umm... sure.”

A hesitation, and a jump. This was my response to my principal on the way home from school one warm Wednesday evening when he asked if I could cover an extra class for CCD—8th grade girls. I wanted to make a good impression on my principal, and since it was a slower week, I figured an extra hour wouldn’t kill me. After I hesitated, I said yes.

Teacher Talk: Tips for Small-Group Math Instruction

Monday, December 16, 2019 by Francesca Varga

Higher-Powered Learning - Middle School Math Small Group Tips

I distinctly remember the first time I walked into Rebecca Buller’s middle school math classroom at Saint Alphonsus Catholic School in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

The energy was electric and students were buzzing with excitement while talking about...MATH!

Rebecca uses the station rotation model. She divides her students into three groups – a technology station, a collaborative work station where students apply math learning, and her small-group instruction station. She combines this model with her version of the flipped classroom model to make math concepts attainable for all students.

Arizona ACE Teachers Participate in Regional Retreat

Monday, December 09, 2019

Many people who are familiar with ACE Teaching Fellows have probably heard a thing or two about our December Retreat, a time for all our teachers, faculty, and team members to gather near Austin, Texas for a weekend of spiritual, communal, and professional nourishment. 

What some people might not be aware of is the fact that our team regularly travels around the country to offer regional retreats for our ACE Teachers. Fr. Lou DelFra, Fr. Joe Carey, and members of the Pastoral Team plan and deliver approximately 10 such retreats each year.

Members of the ACE communities from Phoenix and Tucson were part of a recent retreat to the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona. 

#YouBelongHere

Friday, December 06, 2019 by Sean Jorgensen and Jason Linster - Saint Mary Catholic Central High School in Monroe, MI

#YouBelongHere

The Program for Inclusive Education is privileged to collaborate with many amazing educators across the country who support and advocate for inclusion in Catholic schools. It is my honor to welcome Sean Jorgensen and Jason Linster from Monroe, Michigan, as guest authors. Saint Mary Catholic Central High School (SMCC) is committed to opening its doors to all learners, and it is a blessing to share their story. Thank you for your tireless efforts towards inclusive education!

~ Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

3 Literacy Ideas to Spark Joy in Your Classroom

Monday, December 02, 2019 by Francesca Varga

3 Literacy Ideas to Spark Joy in Your Classroom - Higher-Powered Learning

My classroom layout matched the colorful, vibrant personalities of my students. And similar to the lovely, ever-changing, adolescent personality, my classroom was constantly changing. I am a big fan of the flex model, particularly for older students because it gives teachers more flexibility to pull groups or individual students. I constantly adjusted my groups to keep instruction “fresh,” as my kids called it. My flexible groups also removed the stigma that can sometimes accompany ability grouping.

I Am Thankful for...Spirituality

Thursday, November 28, 2019 by Alaina Owen - ACE 25, Tucson

This is the third and final post in a series from ACE teachers that center around the pillars of teaching, community, and spirituality. It is authored by Alaina Owen, a member of ACE 25 in Tucson and focuses on her gratitude toward the spiritual nourishment she has received on campus and at her ACE school.

I am thankful for Spirituality - Alaina Owen ACE 25

This Thanksgiving, I thank God for the opportunity to join ACE Teaching Fellows and the spiritual formation I have received from the program. When I was first admitted to ACE and was told that I would be teaching high school biology and chemistry in Tucson, I had to trust in God’s plan for me. I chose to take the leap of faith and move to a new city across the country to teach students who were only a few years younger than me. While I was incredibly nervous at the beginning, I have learned so much more about myself and my faith throughout these past two years.

I Am Thankful for...Teaching

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by Andy Miles - ACE 24, Philadelphia

This is the second post in a series from ACE teachers that center around the pillars of teaching, community, and spirituality. It is authored by Andy Miles, a member of ACE 24 in Philadelphia and focuses on his gratitude toward the vocation of teaching.

I am thankful for teaching - Andy Miles ACE 24 Philadelphia

The pretzel salt was everywhere.

No matter how many times I swept my classroom after school, a new layer of salt dust seemed to coat the checkered tile floor each morning. It was beneath the corners of the rug in the back and within the pages of textbooks kept inside the desks. My housemates may claim I exaggerate, but I think I even once found pretzel salt in my shoes when I returned to our row house at the end of a long day.

Reteaching: Giving Students Extra Scaffolding to Reach their Goals

Monday, November 18, 2019 by Kourtney Bradshaw-Clay

Blended Learning Reteaching

You finish a class and think to yourself, “Wow! What a wonderful lesson. I can’t wait to grade these exit tickets.” 

However, after grading, you find a handful of your students ROCKED the lesson–but a group of students completely misunderstood the concept. How will you make sure these students don’t fall behind on future lessons?

Reteaching small groups of students is an effective way to ensure students receive instruction that targets their misconceptions.

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