Teaching religion in a public school is a very touchy subject. You have to be extremely careful about what you say to students about religion because you can get into a lot of trouble if parents get upset with what you tell their children. Separation of church and state really restricts what you can teach in public schools about religion. You should definitely know your school districts policy about teaching religion in the classroom before you bring the subject up with your students.
I am also fortunate to teach at a faith based school, St. James Catholic High School. It is our policy, and that of our Board, to infuse Catholicism in everything we do and teach. Our lessons as well as our curriculum expectations include our Catholic Graduate Expectations as well. Should teachers not be utilizing these expectations and fostering Catholic gospel values, they are held accountable. So, I guess I am fortunate not to be in your situation, Charlsie. I would have to agree whole heartedly with Elena though, that your actions model what you want from your students. Every opportunity you have to instill Christian values in what you do, say, and teach is of utmost importance. You are the next best thing most of these students will have to bible teachings. It's sad, in my environment, Catholic as it is, we find this to also be true. We as a school community are often the closest thing our students have to prayer, church, and gospel teachings. It's hard as it often feels like you are trying to convert the converted who haven't practiced in a long, long, time. Keep up the good fight;)
Charlsie, Several years ago I wrote an article to address this sort of concern, and it was published in a couple of journals. The last I knew, it was available online. If you google "James E. Schwartz" + "golden rule" I believe you may be able to find it. I tried to post a link, but there are access difficulties doing it that way.
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