Lessons from a new teacher

What a teacher and her students learned when they took their class outside

This article appears in the Small Earth Stories feature series. View the full series.

When I first became a catechist, I used textbooks and was very traditional in my approach. I noticed my students seemed distant, disconnected and disinterested. One day I decided to take the class outside. We left the textbooks in the classroom and sat quietly under a tree.

As I began to discuss the origins of the universe, evolution, being interconnected to all of creation and how God can be found in all things, my students were mesmerized. When my students and I first began, we sat between brick and mortar and I taught from pages that were made from a tree. As we evolved, the tree itself became the teacher.

I will remain forever grateful to the tree who taught us all how to stand up for the poor and oppressed but most of all, I am thankful this great teacher's hospitality taught us how to love.
-- Lindy Brasher is a youth minister from Monroe, La. who recently earned a Master's in Religious Education from Loyola University in New Orleans. She will begin working on a Master's in Spirituality at Fordham University in May 2020 in pursuit of a Doctorate of Ministry. She enjoys helping her students care for the poor and vulnerable members of creation as she teaches them the importance of caring for our common home.

Thanks!
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