Dear friends, good afternoon to you.
I an happy to see many of you coming to the Catholic Teachers’ Day organised by our Archdiocesan Education Commission today. Thank you for your presence and active participation.
We have just celebrated the Eucharist at St Simon Likas to thank God for the gift of our Christian faith, and to thank Him for the joy of your vocation as teachers and educators. Now we are here in this restaurant. We want to continue sharing that joy through our luncheon gathering. I hope this simple celebration will prepare you spiritually and emotionally as you begin your new semester this coming Monday.
Dear friends, over the years I know many of you have found a sense of fulfillment in your teaching career, especially when you see your students doing well in their studies and have become more responsible in their lives. However, some of you may find teaching a burden because of the increasing paper work required by the Education Ministry, and also because you find today’s students more challenging. But you stay on because of the good pay!
No matter how you feel about your profession, I wish to pose a question to all of you: “What is the big difference between you and your colleagues who are not Christians?” (pause)
I think the difference lies in the way you look at teaching. If you view teaching as only a career, then you are no different from others. But if you accept teaching as a vocation, a calling from God, then it affects the way you teach, the way you relate to your students, the way you prepare your lessons, and so on. Why? Because you believe that through teaching you are doing the will of God.
As Catholics, I think you would agree with me that there is something more than just being a teacher. The way you teach and speak, the way you behave and act, the way you show your care and concern, all these are noticed by your students. They will not be convinced of what you teach unless they also see and hear good things about you, inside and outside of the school compound. Young people today are not only struggling to learn new knowledge, they are also looking for role models. This, to me, is where you, as Catholic teachers, can play your role. This is where people will see the difference in you. I hope and pray that you will take this vocation seriously.
To those of you who will receive awards today, my sincere congratulations to you on your achievements. Let these awards motivate you further to be models to your students and colleagues.
Finally, I wish to thank the Education Commission for organising this event. Let us never get tired of doing the best for the glory of God. God bless.