Teaching is living in faith | Inquirer News

Teaching is living in faith

Teachers are planting for the next generation, although most of the time they will not see the results of their work in their lifetime.

Speaking at the end of the three-day International Conference on Learning and Teaching (ICLT) at Miriam College, Helen Graham, MM, said, “Teaching requires commitment and a willingness to live in faith, a willingness to wait for results and maybe not see them at all.”

The Maryknoll sister, who had been a teacher for more than four decades, gave a talk on “Teaching God’s Love in Action.”


She told her audience, “One of the joys of having taught in the same institute for almost 44 years, is you live long enough to have your students become your colleagues, even your dean.”


Describing herself as a student of the sacred scripture, Graham, who taught at Miriam when it was still called Maryknoll, said, “Teaching, as you all know so well, is done in many situations—all of us are, in one way or another, teaching.”

She said the setting of her teaching was multicultural. And exposure to the variety of languages, cultures and food was part of the education of her students coming from different countries in Asia-Pacific and Africa.

“It is a significant part of their learning process,” Graham said.

Through her teaching, she said, she tried to make God’s love visible. Graham quoted the rabbinic saying “When you pray, you talk to God; when you study, God talks to you.”

In Judaism, she said, prayer and study were two sides of the same coin.

Graham said, in her teaching, she found it rewarding to use the rabbinic method of study called havrutah, which could be defined as “paired study and focused conversation around classical Jewish texts.”


But she explained that havrutah was not confined to religious texts.

She quoted Orit Kent, author of “A Theory of Havrutah,” who said the method was “an ambitious and powerful pedagogy for teachers and learners in different educational contexts.”

She cited the four ideals of the havrutah method of study:

“Sharpening” the partner’s intellect so that he/she was enhanced and developed;

“Gentility” toward the study partner so that his/her discourse was heard in its human form, as the words of an individual;

“Attentive listening” so that the partner’s discourse was affirmed in its human character; and

“Enhancing” the partner’s position.

Graham said, with the thoughtful use of havrutah, teaching could become “God’s love in action on the part of students toward each other, as well as the teacher toward the students.”

She quoted Kent, who said, “God supports the event of learning and guides it to fruition.”

Miriam College president and ICLT 2011 convenor Dr. Rosario Lapus said Graham’s talk was “a fitting way” to mark the 85th anniversary of Maryknoll-Miriam College, which opened in 1926 in the Philippines as a teacher-training school, and a prelude to the centennial next year of the Maryknoll congregation.

Lapus enjoined the participants to work together, share stories and learn from each other. “The best teachers are the best storytellers,” she said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

With the theme “Expanding Horizons, Creating Impact,” the ICLT had participants from the host country, as well as from Japan, Korea, Australia, Iran, Oman and Nigeria.

TAGS: Education, Philippines, teaching

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.