Studying is the main action occurring in my home, at my work place, and at school right now. My children are studying for finals, my students are reviewing and taking finals, and students all over the United States are cramming information into their minds the night before these exams. The most successful students realized long ago that learning the material as it is being taught is the best way to studying for a final. The better one understands the material, the easier the final exam will be. Therefore, those students who earn poor grades throughout the school year also score poorly on the final. However, they think that if they studying for 3-4 hours they will be able to memorize the facts and information just long enough to regurgitate it on the final. For some students this last ditch effort works, but they did not really learn the information at all.
As a teacher, I teach so that my students can understand and internalize my lessons. I do not teach for my students to get good grades. I teach Theology, the study of God. I teach them about the Catholic Church, about morality, and how to make good moral choices using the Stop sign method; Search out the facts, think about the consequences and alternatives, consider others involved in the situation, and pray for guidance. Through my teachings I attempt to give them new ways to pray and ideas to bring them to a deeper faith in God. I do not base my “teaching” success on their grades. If my students do their homework, and listen during class, applying creativity, collaboration, and fun skits, they do well in my class resulting in good grades and a different attitude about faith. If they choose to not be a part of the process they earn poor grades and have closed themselves off to learning. As a teacher my hope is that my students were led by the Holy Spirit to take something from my classes to lead them in the direction of a life guided towards and by God. I want them to pass because they learned about God along the way, not because they tried to memorize how to make a moral decision but because they now understand why they should and how to practice it in the future.
I am praying for my children and my students to do well on their exams as a representation of all they learned from my class this year. However, my more important prayer is that their eyes were opened, they heard new words, and they experienced a different path to God than before they entered my class. I hope that they will use these practices in their future to lead them closer to God and a better life for all. So, students keep on studying and next year plan to learn the material and just review instead of cramming it on nights like tonight. Good Luck!!