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Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Serve

Written by Katie Dugan, PIE 1 on Monday, 29 January 2018.

Catholic Schools Week 2018 - Serve

To celebrate National Catholic Schools Week, we are sharing four reflections centered around the themes of "Learn, Serve, Lead, and Succeed." Today's reflection on "Serve" comes from Katie Dugan, a member of the Program for Inclusive Education's (PIE) inaugural cohort.

The enthusiasm is high as the students finish jumping and singing to GoNoodle on the SmartBoard. With nineteen boys in my first grade classroom at Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Maryland, getting their “wiggles” out is necessary before we start our language arts class. I am about to enter quicksand of uncertain depth by letting them practice their spelling words with shaving cream on their desks. It will clean their desks AND provide a fun way to practice!

With each day of my second semester of PIE, I grow more convinced that all schools can be inclusive and serve every student. Quite simply, every teacher, administrator, parent, and student must be of a mind that all God’s children deserve to be loved and served. By receiving multiple layers of support from my teaching colleagues, all of my students benefit from flexible grouping and a variety of approaches with which to access knowledge. I have benefitted, too, both spiritually and professionally, by learning to adapt my curriculum and classroom to all types of learners.

While in ACE 10, serving at St. Paul School in Memphis, Tennessee, my third graders taught me the importance of patience and acceptance, ever encouraged by former Bishop Terry Steib, who always reminded us, “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!” Those words continue to inspire my work, life, and my own children’s Catholic school attendance. God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve each of them and give all my students a chance to be welcomed, loved, served, and celebrated.

Learn more about how you can welcome, serve, and celebrate all students in your school by visiting and applying to become an Inclusive Educator! Applications are due March 1.

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