Spiritual Plus in Graduation – Interview with the Director of St. Benedict’s Grammar School in Budapest | Hungarian Courier
– Upon entering the school, thoughts of Thanksgiving greet me on the pictures placed on the walls. Do students stop in front of them?
“I trust their eyes will catch on them, or they’ll think about it.” In the morning, we pray together with the Lord God for help with the tasks of the day. At the end of the day, as the students put it, we thank you for surviving the torments of the day. It’s easy for a person to ask, they’ll immediately clasp their hands if there’s a problem, but we also need to wake children up to see how good things are happening to us. Notice the small joys of life. It is important for them to be able to rejoice in little things, each other’s joy, and be able to give thanks. This is how we try to raise a generous, grateful generation.
– They started with vocational training, but the technical classes now only work in an outgoing system. Is that the high school you are looking for?
– Indeed, the grammar school was established earlier, we have already been working with OKJ adult education. We started our first ninth grade as a vocational training class, in 2017 we cut into high school training. They first applied there. In the upper years, we still have a class of IT and merchant students, but more than three-quarters of the students are high school students. Just like this school year, next year we will only enroll students in a grammar school class, and the goal is a clean-profile, high-quality Benedictine grammar school here in downtown Budapest.
– What do you think about the possibility of passing on faith?
“The children came to us at an age when they were rebelling.” Against their parents, teachers and God. I think that’s okay, because it deepens one’s faith by asking questions. It is our job to give answers – then the child will not be lost. I see in a circle of acquaintances that if a child is constantly “bathed in holy water,” he is strengthened in the rebellion. Let’s give everything in moderation.
The Good God is a gentle guest, knocks, and if I let him in, he’ll come in. It doesn’t ruin the door. If I offer a seat in the hall, it will sit there. He’s coming as long as I let him.
This cannot be forcibly squeezed into children. But, of course, we also have the obligatory elements of the practice of faith. Faith class, school year opening Mass, Te Deum, mid-year liturgical occasions, spiritual days. We try to serve these in the language of young people. When I say recollection, they blink big ones, but when I call them to keep spiritual cleansing, it’s quite different to him. We make sure that those who practice religion also get a plus in their souls, and also those who have a lot of new things to do. and we convey value to Catholics and Protestants at the same time.
– What is the emphasis in education?
“Learning is very important, of course, but when I think back to my high school years, not only learning jumps in, but the community as well. This period is crucial in the lives of young people, so it is important what we can pass on to them in education. The high school student is not yet an adult, but he is no longer a child. I want to be an adult, but I also want to enjoy all the benefits of being a child. They must stand by them so that the adult refuses all help from the adolescent’s gut. They need to be educated gently but firmly.
I ask colleagues and students to make love the basis for working together.
If we build on that, the studies will go well. In a good community where students help each other, someone who is not a tálos can also get on the wing.
– How do you see the relationship to learning, how much do students want to learn here?
“Looking back over the past decades, I always see that it’s getting harder year after year. Today’s children have very different attitudes toward learning. They already speak a different language that is appropriate for my students ten years ago. I myself was a very rebellious student. This is not a bad thing because I can understand students when the resistance swirls in them. When we discuss this, we can laugh together afterwards. They also understand my position on why to learn.
Educators need to be constantly renewed. This is perhaps the biggest challenge. Not only must we follow the novelties of the given subject, but we must also look for ways to address, engage and motivate young people.
How we can give something new is interesting to do with the subject and at the same time educate with great love. Continuous dialogue between colleagues at school is also important. Let each other know if something is going well, but also if it isn’t. Otherwise, how would we know something needs to change? For the better, educators need to be constantly strengthened to stay motivated.
– Who chooses the school?
– We are a national institution. We have students from all parts of Budapest, from the agglomeration, but even from the Danube Bend, because our accessibility is very good. A few years have passed and our seniors are recommending us to their acquaintances in their former primary school. News of the school is slowly slowing down. More and more of our students. We already have three classes in the lower grades. We only wanted to start two classes this year, but two hundred families applied in two weeks during the emergency recruitment process. We could easily pick from two hundred children. Of course, we need to make sure that quality develops along with quantity.
“He’s been accompanying St. Benedict’s School from the beginning.” What keeps you here?
– Good brand and calling word is the name of St. Benedict. The school is given a solid background by the past behind Pannonhalma and the fact that they pay attention to their schools. We get a lot from the Benedictine community. I have been teaching since 1998, I came here in 2012. We have grown from a member institution to an independent institution that can stand on its own two feet. For me, teaching is more than a profession. It’s not about me going into my job, doing my job, putting down the lutes, and going home. I always feel like it’s not over. We accompany the student at some point in his life. It comes from somewhere, we add something, we release it in the end, and we trust that what we put into energy will pay interest afterwards. It is a feeling that cannot be compared to anything else. That’s why it’s worth being on the field.
Throughout the interview HERE readable.
Text and photo: Eva Trauttwein