My name is Kathleen Mason and I was born and raised in Gallup, NM. I attended Franciscan University where I got a degree in Early Childhood Education. For two years I taught second and third grade in Gallup, NM. After teaching in Gallup, I moved down to Phoenix to teach first grade at a classical charter school. I have been at Our Lady of Lourdes since 2012.
When starting out teaching, I was thrown into a classroom and given textbooks and told to teach. Two weeks in, I realized that the students were bored with the material, they were not being taught to think, and the curriculum weren't infused with Christ. I threw out the textbooks, all I was taught about education in college, and started looking for a way to teach children that would educate the heart and mind, filling them with knowledge while simultaneously cultivating virtue. These principles are what I found at the heart of a classical education.
Classical education is focused on the True, Good, and Beautiful. These transcendentals show up in the study of language, poetry, mathematics, history, and science. These subjects open the student up to wonder about the world before them. The best thing about a Catholic classical education is that Christ is the Truth that connects all of these truths together. The study of religion is not simply learning the catechism but learning about the beauty and order of the human body in science, the religious desires and life of those in Ancient Egypt in history, the truth of mathematical principles, and so on in every subjects. All truths are connected to Christ, the Truth.
Classical education also effects my self understanding as a teacher. While, I want every student to love to learn and have a disposition of gratitude towards the gifts of our western tradition. My goal as a teacher is to open the child’s eyes to the beauty around them, to model good, to help them always strive for virtue, and to help them seek the truth in learning. I like to think of teaching as giving a child as many tools as possible and taking them to the top of a mountain and letting them go free. It doesn’t matter if they use those tools to be a grocer or get a PHD. I just hope I have helped instill in them virtue, a love of learning, and a joy and love for Christ.