Educators in the Footsteps of Don Bosco
Education is a process which empowers the body, mind and spirit of the person so that one becomes a productive and responsible member of the family and society. It is a unique investment in the present or the future. In the technological driven world, education and research are crucial to the development process of a country, its welfare, progress and security.
Don Bosco, a visionary, who loved the youth, not only provided them with shelter, but also education. His approach, the Preventive approach, kept the youth away from harm and evil. His education was directed towards self-discovery, forming a character, holistic development and facing the challenges of life. The Preventive approach is based on assistance & accompaniment, where the educator is perceived as father, mother, brother, sister, guide and protector.
Being a Salesian educator, involves four attitudes, namely, Respect, Understanding, Affection and Humour. By adopting those attitudes and living them through, within the context of the Gospel, the Salesian educator becomes a kind of good shepherd and continues his or her own spiritual journey through his or her work as an educator.
Strong positive relationships build resilience in the life of an educator. As a leader and guide, the Salesian educator is clear about rules, making them reasonable and consistent; about options, making them clear and balanced; about consequences that must always be followed through.
True authority is rooted in genuine care, expressed in honest affection and self-sacrifice. Teachers encourage prayer in the classroom, educating students in all aspects, so as to encourage development of mind, body and spirit. The educator has the opportunity to extend his/her own personal repertoire of skills, in each area, which forms part of a personal vocational journey for the educator.
Don Bosco said that an educator who appeared only in the classroom would be seen just as a teacher. But an educator who spent time in the playground would become a friendly presence and would be more effective in the classroom.
A Salesian Educator is one who places all his / her time, energy, talents and activity at the service of the young. A Salesian Educator is one who is reasonable and clarifies his/her goal and objective; keeps a sense of proportion and uses a lot of common sense; makes sure that the atmosphere is not suffocating; sees that punishments are proportionate and reasonable; allows the young person to speak; creates a kind of discipline where one is obeyed without having to command.
A Salesian Educator is one who is a true believer and transforms the young into the same. He/she does not separate faith from life, but lives his/her faith. The Educator makes the students know and love God and instils in the them an awareness, understanding and practice of the religious ideals of love, humility and prayer.
Don Bosco was not ashamed to put love at the heart of education, as a self-sacrificing commitment to the good of others.