Each week I teach a class of twelfth graders in the Challenge IV program at my local Classical Conversations community. There are eight students in my class: some of whom love math, some of whom love science, some of whom love literature, some of whom love history, and one or two who love Latin. I want them all–including myself–to love it all.
I teach every subject, and I want them all to love them and learn them in a way that they can do the same when they are moms and dads. So we begin every subject with the same prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, You have said, “Without you we can do nothing.” In faith, we embrace your words, O Lord, and bow before your goodness. Help us to love ________ (math, Latin, history, etc…), to see the beauty in _________ , and to learn well the ____________ we are about to begin for your own glory. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen.
This is a modified version of a historic prayer the Church has used to pray before beginning work. We use it to ask God to help us in our studies, to remind ourselves of our dependence on God in our studies, and to form in us the desire to love, see the beauty in, and to want to learn well whatever subject God has put before us.
Today was our sixth week of classes. Students not only have begun memorizing the prayer themselves (and maybe even using it themselves at home!), but also interrupt me to remind me to pray before a class when I forget. I hope the prayer blesses them as we pray it.
What do you use to prepare yourself and your students to learn each day?