Editor: Here are a series of edited short articles on various aspects of the La Salette Educational System in the Philippines.
The High School Department of the University of La Salette (ULS) has over the years welcomed as many as 1,894 students. The opening of each school year is preceded by a two-week orientation colloquium to re-anchor the faculty and staff on the school’s Vision and Mission and to welcome the new members of the faculty consisting of ten female and ten male teachers.
An Acquaintance Day in June rolls out the red carpet for the new students and teachers. It also serves to rekindle the conviviality and fellowship that exists among the older ones. The time-honored Mass of the Holy Spirit begins the day presided over by Fr. Franklin Picio, M.S., our University President, with the Santiago City-based La Salette Missionaries as concelebrants.
The University of La Salette High School is seen by many as Cagayan Valley’s (or, one of the country’s) formation nexus of academic excellence and Christian character. It has indomitably affirmed the Catholic-held truth that a child being of God and from God is to called to experience the fullness of life which Christ offered; and all the while promoting brilliance and harmony in basic education.
I teach primary students at La Salette of San Mateo, Isabela. I am a resident of Ramon, Isabela. For me teaching is a vocation. It is a special calling that requires total dedication and love. I am now on my eighth year of loving service.
My exposure at La Salette of San Mateo has awakened in me great interest in my own faith as a Catholic. I was baptized a Catholic but not quite as exposed to its culture and practice. Having been educated in a public school system, I did not have the opportunity to grow in the basic knowledge and practice of my religion. I did not know how to pray the rosary and appreciate its significance to say the least.
I thought all institutions of learning were all the same until I came to know and joined La Salette of San Mateo. The Catholic ethos and the school’s religious thrust have continually formed not only our students but also ourselves as educators. I myself can attest to the fact that I have grown not only intellectually but also in terms of my attitude and behaviors. I have been able to connect my faith with how I should live my life. Having said these, I believe I can deliver more values to my pupils.
Teaching in Catholic Christian Education may not be a lucrative profession but the fulfillment we get from it is priceless. The joy we receive in doing God’s work, of molding persons into productive citizens and truly God-fearing and God-loving people is great and tremendously rewarding.
I am a true-blooded Salettinian. I have been serving my Alma Mater for five years now. It was really my dream to be a teacher. I have truly been enjoying teaching. And for the past six years I have been involved in teaching primary students until recently a challenge came about for me to teach kindergarten.
It was never in my wildest dreams to teach kindergarten. But the call of bringing about transformation in the lives of young children fell upon me. I thank our school director who opened my eyes to this new possibility!
For me teaching children is a bit of a challenge. I soon realized that I have to wear many hats: a teacher, a fellow learner, a classmate, a parent, a friend, a sister, a policewoman, a doctor, a guard, a janitress, and even a nanny. But I have loved to play these roles for young children whom I have learned to love very much.
It has been very fulfilling to see these lively children grow. It has been very rewarding for me to see these children begin associating various concepts with their real life situations. It has been even more rewarding to see them smile, truly enjoying to learn and to grow. In this new experience I have learned to respond to teaching as a most noble calling.