This is a reflection about how I see the “History of Catholic Education” having influence on my future teaching practice
As a former student in the French catholic school board it was interesting to read the history of how catholic schools became. I suppose because I was in a French school they focused more on the history of the French and how our ancestors had to fight for our rights to have a French education, we never really discussed how we had to fight for a catholic school as well. I realize now how fortunate I was to be able to not only get a French education but a catholic one. I found it heart breaking to learn that the government tried to tear apart the English-speaking and French-speaking Catholics in attempt to eliminate “bilingual schools”. If they had succeeded I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
It is clear that the issue at hand is always about money and possessing the same rights and privileges as the public schools as well as sharing the Common School Fund was something they always had to fight for. It was nice to read about the catholic community sticking together when the lower Canada helped the upper Canada because Catholics were a minority in Upper Canada. With the changes of the new Ontario it was nice to know we had such dedicated catholic leaders fighting for the future generations to come and who made it possible for the Catholic schools to survive the stresses. As a future teacher it warms my heart that people donated their salaries to make this a possibility.
I was shocked to learn how long it took for the Catholics to be finally accorded justice. It was even more fascinating to learn that no everyone was happy about this, that this meant they could loose control of their own schools. I truly believe we must look at the positives in life and to be grateful that the catholic schools finally got what they had been fighting for strongly for.
As a future teacher I hope to teach these stories to my students so that we can be thankful for the opportunity we have. So that they as well can know “the story of the development of Catholic schools in this province” and so that they may “realize that these schools are a gift that should not be squandered.”