Lasallian Teacher Immersion
“This is my 35th year in education,” says Christian Brother Patrick Conway. “One thing I’ve noticed is the shrinking pool of male teachers, particularly as related to theology and religion teachers. In the United States today, 19 percent of all Catholic school teachers are men. In the public schools it’s 21 percent . . . .”
To address this shortage, the Midwest province of the Christian Brothers has initiated the Lasallian Teacher Immersion Program to guide more young men into teaching. The program draws on students from Christian Brothers universities and colleges and gives them supervised classroom teaching experience and chances to serve those in need, all while earning college credit.
The first group of Lasallians volunteered at an inner city middle school for at-risk young people and worked in shelters, soup kitchens, and day-care facilities. In addition, they took classes themselves at nearby Christian Brothers schools. A future semester will involve students in a five-week program in Guatemala. Other activities include community living and working at a Catholic Worker house.
The Lasallian program returns the Christian Brothers to their roots of working in inner cities among immigrants, Brother Patrick tells Catholic News Service. “We are now returning to our mission. We have been trying to become more attuned to the plight of the poor.”
Have ever thought being a teacher? What do you think would be the rewards and challenges of teaching?