Catholic Schools Week 2023: Celebrating teachers

Linda Lietaert, a sixth-grade teacher at St. Joan of Arc School in St. Clair Shores, teaches at the same school she once attended as a little girl. Lietaert says she believes teaching in a Catholic school is a ministry in and of itself, a calling to help mold young minds and hearts in the truth of the Gospel. (Gabriella Patti | Detroit Catholic)

During Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, we celebrate what makes our Catholic schools special places of learning, faith formation and growth. Each day, we recognize a different member of the Catholic schools "family."

Today, we honor our teachers. Here's a brief testimonial from Linda Lietaert, a sixth-grade teacher at St. Joan of Arc School in St. Clair Shores.

Part of why I am a Catholic school educator is that I'm a product of Catholic schools. I actually attended St. Joan of Arc as a kid. My kids went to Catholic school, and I went to a Catholic high school (Bishop Gallagher), so I have always felt very blessed that I received a Catholic school education.

I had great teachers and mentors, and I want to pay it forward; that's the type of teacher that I want to be. Even more important than that, I have been a Catholic educator because, here, I can have an entire school day filled with faith.

I feel like we're called to be Catholic school teachers — that it's a ministry. All great teachers want to meet their kids’ academic, social and emotional needs. But we have another level as Catholic school teachers: we're also trying to meet their spiritual needs. We're trying to help them encounter God throughout the day, to know that they are wonderfully made and that God wants them always to be Christlike. So we really, truly walk by faith, and I love that I can be on that journey with kids. If I can inspire kids to deepen their relationships with Christ throughout the days they spend with me, then I will have done a good job, and that will be my legacy if and when I ever retire.

I love being a teacher. I really feel this is what God wanted me to do.

—Linda Lietaert, sixth-grade teacher, St. Joan of Arc School, St. Clair Shores



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