Artwork for podcast The Catholic Teacher Podcast
Learning The Right Balance In Work As A Catholic Teacher
Episode 3417th July 2021 • The Catholic Teacher Podcast • Jonathan Doyle
00:00:00 00:07:56

Share Episode

Shownotes

As A Catholic teacher it can be very easy to fall into the habit of working too hard. There is so much to do that we can easily feel we just need to push harder each day to get it all done. In this episode I share a great insight from the philosopher Josef Pieper who reminds us that our lives consist of so much more than just working harder.

Transcripts

Speaker:

Hey everybody.

Speaker:

Jonathan Doyle with you, once again, welcome aboard wherever you are

Speaker:

seeing or hearing this content.

Speaker:

Really great to have just a few moments with you.

Speaker:

As I share with you today, a great quote for Catholic teachers, which I think

Speaker:

you're really gonna, like, it's a, it's a great quote from Joseph Pieper who

Speaker:

wrote extensively on the importance of leisure as the basis of culture.

Speaker:

I guess it's not something we think about.

Speaker:

I think many of us tend to think that leisure, that relaxation might

Speaker:

be a little bit self-absorbed.

Speaker:

I think we've got to this kind of cultural moment where many of us feel that

Speaker:

taking time away from all the pressures around us is somehow problematic.

Speaker:

And I want to talk about that today.

Speaker:

Very much in the context of Catholic education, because as I

Speaker:

have said many, many times, and if you've ever heard me speak live.

Speaker:

Catholic educators are professional givers.

Speaker:

You give and you give and you give and you give and that giving, if it's

Speaker:

not replenished leads to eventual cynicism, exhaustion, and burnout.

Speaker:

That's why we created the going deeper program because we knew that so many

Speaker:

teachers are getting kind of slowly run down over the years as a, as they

Speaker:

went through the daily vocation of Catholic education, just giving so often.

Speaker:

So it's really important that we begin to think about the role of work in our lives.

Speaker:

I think it's so easy in education to kind of get just caught up in the

Speaker:

demands, the complexity, all of the regulations, all of the demands, the

Speaker:

marking, and it can be quite exhausting.

Speaker:

We're not, can be most of you listening to this or watching this

Speaker:

know exactly what I'm talking about.

Speaker:

So what are we doing?

Speaker:

Well, let me start just by sharing this great quote today from

Speaker:

Joseph people, let's do that.

Speaker:

He says the world of work threatens to become our only world

Speaker:

to the exclusion of all else.

Speaker:

The demands of the working world grow ever more total grasping, ever more

Speaker:

completely for whole of human existence.

Speaker:

So what he's obviously pointing us to there is this kind

Speaker:

of this, this creep, right?

Speaker:

There's incremental growth of the impact of work upon our lives.

Speaker:

I think in these uncertain times in which we're living, we can carry

Speaker:

a certain kind of anxiety, you know, am I working hard enough?

Speaker:

Should I be doing more?

Speaker:

Will I get promoted?

Speaker:

It's very easy to fall into that trap.

Speaker:

And then we've got to put that up against the words of Jesus who says

Speaker:

things like, you know, come to me, all you who labor and are heavily

Speaker:

burdened and I will give you rest.

Speaker:

So you look at someone like some people.

Speaker:

Who seems to be quite an extraordinary, extraordinarily

Speaker:

energetic character, right?

Speaker:

He's somebody who's just, you know, going a million miles an hour all the time.

Speaker:

The question is where's that energy coming from there.

Speaker:

Part of it for him would have been characterological, but we discover of

Speaker:

course, that he's drawing on this deep and profound relationship with Christ and he's

Speaker:

empowered on a daily basis by the holy.

Speaker:

So it is not the will of God that any Catholic teacher allows work

Speaker:

to completely overwhelm them.

Speaker:

There's just, there's just no scriptural basis for it.

Speaker:

There's nothing in the teachers and teachings of the church, the magisterium

Speaker:

that would say, you know, to be a good Catholic teacher, what you need

Speaker:

to do is just wipe yourself out in the service of the mission, you know?

Speaker:

So what do we do?

Speaker:

Well, I think.

Speaker:

Make a decision and it's kind of the ultimate decision, the Christian

Speaker:

life, the constant decision.

Speaker:

So decision around, trust that if we really place ourselves in the hands

Speaker:

of God and we really allow him on a daily basis to guide and direct

Speaker:

our lives, and he's going to bring about what he wants to bring about.

Speaker:

Doesn't make me not work harder.

Speaker:

The question is the reason we're working on it.

Speaker:

And I think you'll agree that the times in our lives, when we're

Speaker:

working for a deep sense of purpose, adjust much more sustainable than

Speaker:

the times when we're just striving.

Speaker:

And I've wrestled with this much of my life.

Speaker:

I've often found myself exhausted and pushing and doing things at

Speaker:

a very much an internal confusion internal drive, just pushing myself.

Speaker:

As I've got a bit older, I've sort of slowly learned that it's not sustainable.

Speaker:

So this message today is about the role of work and demands in the

Speaker:

life of every Catholic teacher.

Speaker:

I don't want to encourage every principal watching every pastor, every Bishop,

Speaker:

every, uh, Catholic education diocesan, uh, you know, administrative person

Speaker:

who's, who's in a leadership role.

Speaker:

Let's trust God for the mission, right?

Speaker:

Let's build a culture of holiness where we basically trust that if God's given us

Speaker:

the mission, it's his job to sustain us.

Speaker:

So I always quite Bishop Peter from Boise, Idaho.

Speaker:

When I got to speak there a couple of years ago, it always stayed with me.

Speaker:

He said, he said to his teachers before I went on, he said, you know, you guys have

Speaker:

got to stop trying to make Jesus unemploy.

Speaker:

I always liked that.

Speaker:

I always loved that line.

Speaker:

It stays with me and I hear a great line.

Speaker:

It just stays with you.

Speaker:

You got to stop trying to make Jesus on him.

Speaker:

So let's trust him for the work let's in leadership, particularly keep

Speaker:

a really close eye on your people.

Speaker:

Keep a really close eye on your people.

Speaker:

Ask the question, how are you going?

Speaker:

What are you doing?

Speaker:

I just remember the exhaustion.

Speaker:

When my, when I was a new teacher, just this expectation after expectation.

Speaker:

Full teaching load.

Speaker:

You've got supervision and you've got this and that.

Speaker:

I remember one afternoon I had, you know, a full day of teaching.

Speaker:

I had extra supervisions and then I had bust Judy and I were

Speaker:

just starting to break under it.

Speaker:

So good.

Speaker:

Catholic leadership means we're we're shepherds, right?

Speaker:

We're shepherds.

Speaker:

We're looking after that flock.

Speaker:

Who's your flop?

Speaker:

Well, it's the teachers that are looking after another flock, so let's take

Speaker:

much better care of each other and let's not let the work overwhelmness.

Speaker:

We need to be different communities.

Speaker:

We need to be communities of energy and light and mission,

Speaker:

but we don't have to sustain it.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

We don't have to be the ones driving it.

Speaker:

We really don't.

Speaker:

All right.

Speaker:

That's it from me.

Speaker:

You listen, before I go it, the risk is that this sounds like platitudes to you.

Speaker:

That it just sounds like, oh yeah.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

It's a good idea, Jonathan.

Speaker:

I get it.

Speaker:

But to really begin to believe it, as I need to begin to believe.

Speaker:

And I think prayer is so crucial.

Speaker:

I think my day, every day starts with, you know, really an hour a day.

Speaker:

Now I've got a young family still and I'm praying for my kids.

Speaker:

I'm praying for my marriage.

Speaker:

I'm praying for Karen.

Speaker:

I'm praying for the work we do.

Speaker:

You know, just increasingly learning to just pray into the demands that I face.

Speaker:

So if you're not a person to pray, I just want to encourage you to die,

Speaker:

to make that a bigger tradition, a bigger part of your daily life.

Speaker:

Because it's in that prayer, in that, you know, that seeking of God, how many

Speaker:

times have I said, you know, why did Jesus say, give us this day, our daily bread,

Speaker:

we don't get tomorrow's grace today.

Speaker:

We get today's grace today.

Speaker:

So you got to make sure you're starting your day asking for the grace to get

Speaker:

you through just this 24 hour block.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

I always love teaching that principle.

Speaker:

All right.

Speaker:

Uh, if you're on Twitter, come and find me, um, at J D Catholic J D Catholic, you

Speaker:

can find me on Twitter, come and say hi.

Speaker:

Uh, if you're on Instagram, I'm on one Catholic teacher, one, one

Speaker:

Catholic teacher on Instagram, trying to put some good stuff there.

Speaker:

And of course you can find me on YouTube.

Speaker:

Uh, I think it's the Catholic teacher daily podcast, and you can

Speaker:

find us on every podcast app at the Catholic teacher daily podcast.

Speaker:

And, uh, God bless you.

Speaker:

Everybody keep doing what you're doing.

Speaker:

My name's Jonathan Doyle.

Speaker:

I'm going to have another message for you very soon.