LAUNCH into learning and a respect for the blessing of life

The month of October is set aside to both honor the Blessed Mother, as well as offer our Respect for Life. Of course, these two foundations for our prayers are entwined. The Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and in turn, became our religious role model for respect for the gift of creation. In keeping with this belief, each day throughout this past month, our students offered daily prayer intentions specific to our calling to honor the blessing of life. In addition, our young people wrote cards of encouragement to the expectant mothers of Mary’s Home in Ellicott City. Below are a few of the more touching messages that were included in these creatively designed cards:

I am praying for you and hoping that God blesses you with all of the happiness and joy that you deserve. PS – Make sure that you pray and read the Bible!

Never give up and peace will be with you. And say hello to your baby for me!

Although I don’t know you personally, just know that I am praying for you. What matters the most is that you said YES to life! You have chosen to keep your baby. Stay strong and keep fighting for your baby.

While the month of October was a time of special prayers and honor, the final week of October provided a new and unique professional development opportunity for our faculty. As St. Agnes continues to focus our efforts on growth and continuous improvement, we have partnered with our School Board in creating a vehicle for reflection and discussion on the practice of design thinking in education. This partnership has formed a supportive relationship where our School Board members help facilitate a book study group with our teachers. This manner of instruction promotes the skills of collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking. Our faculty is using the book “LAUNCH” to rethink our instructional approach to engaging students with our curriculum. Below is the acronym “LAUNCH” described through a Catholic lens in parentheses:

L - Look, Listen and Learn (Leadership, Lightheartedness)

A - Ask lots of questions (Appreciate and Affirm students)

U - Understand the problem/process (Unite the heart, mind and soul)

N - Navigate ideas (Nurture New strengths and talents)

C – Create (Cultivate opportunities to Challenge with Care)

H - Highlight what's working and failing (Humility with Harmony - in Christ's name)

I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to School Board members Pat Barton, Karen Horvath, Mike Doyle and Kate Gilbert for their leadership with our book study program.

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