Mrs. Rachael Wicks

Mrs. Rachael Wicks

“Only she who raised Christ can raise a Christian.” - Venerable Fulton Sheen

Reflection on Catholic Education

As a young undergrad studying to enter into the teaching profession, the term “educator” was proudly referenced to our future careers. The importance of the term always eluded me. Isn’t teaching about serving students, and not about the teacher at all? Why would instructing a child how to read a graph give me the right to project an inflated view of my career? In the public school setting, that is all education can be; instruction. Instruction to do various skills, such as solving an equation or recognizing a covalent bond from an ionic bond. To me, it felt like my professors were inflating the term, because their definition left out the most important part of the goal of life; to gain heaven. The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge felt futile. Saint John Paul II describes why I felt unsatisfied trying to teach without being able to point my students toward God, “It is Jesus whom you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else satisfies you.” I wasn’t satisfied with merely teaching skills; I desire to be able to bring the joy and consultation of Jesus into the lives of my students. I am called to follow Mary, my mother, quietly bringing her children to her son, remaining hidden and humble. 

It is Jesus who transforms instruction into education. In striving for academic excellence from myself and my students, our academic endeavors should be “all for the greater glory of God” as St. Ignatius of Loyola inspired his missionaries. As I teach students to sharpen their minds and to learn how scientific knowledge is built upon in our modern world, I am grateful I can also echo the words of St. Giuseppe Moscati, the first doctor to treat patients with insulin, “Only one science is unshakeable and unshaken, the one revealed by God, the science of the hereafter! In all your works, look to Heaven, to the eternity of life and of the soul, and orient yourself then much differently from the way that merely human considerations might suggest, and your activity will be inspired for the good.”

Mrs. Wicks attended the University of Vermont studying Secondary Education for Science. Her Catholic faith flourished in contrast to UVM’s abrasive secular culture as she found a small but devout community at the Catholic Center on campus. She volunteered teaching middle and high school religious education during college and years after. Upon graduating in 2014, Mrs. Wicks briefly taught science at the middle and high school level before staying home to raise her growing family. For the past three years, she has since returned to teaching at a Catholic school in Vermont as the sole middle school science teacher. She enjoys the unique teaching strategies specific to the developmental needs of middle school students, but also enjoys the more challenging subject matter and critical thinking that high school students can tackle. She is excited to be moving with her husband and three children to the beautiful state of New Hampshire to join Mount Royal’s vibrant Catholic community.