I missed a whole week of school, the week following Easter break, while attending the National Catholic Education Association Conference. The conference was wonderful (very educational) but I was quite worried about missing a week of school. I prepped and planned and arranged many things to keep my boys busy while I was out in Boston. The Juniors were particularly tricky group for which to plan. They are smart, quick thinking, and not short on words; I knew I would need to over plan to help out the subbing teachers. My final plan was 30 minutes of the movie "Of Gods and Men" each day with an accompanying worksheet connecting it to various aspects of morality from our textbook.
Upon my return, I asked, "What happened while I was out?" FYI, don't ask that question unless you really want an answer! The movie was okay, but the questions and subtitles were too much...they had many suggestions of how to do it next year. But they all thought it should be reshown next year. So, I set aside the movie worksheets and simply asked what Virtues, Works of Mercy, Decisions of Conscience or Morality they had seen in the movie. The Juniors filled the rest of class with their thoughts and reflections on the movie. They had seen the difficulty in reaching out to those called friend and enemy; they noticed the relationship between respect and temperance. One of the lines is a naughty slang word (proclaimed in French); they had noticed that, but they connected it to the young monk's deep frustration, fear, and struggle with the unknown in making his decision to stay or go. They reflected the Catholic Social Teachings they had seen in monks' out reach to the people in work and prayer. Some of the Juniors disagreed if Fortitude or Charity were the greatest Theological Virtues shown in the movie...in other words...
...a great deal happened while I was out!