In July of 2010 I drove to Boston from West Virginia. As an attempt to assuage homesickness, I repeated a mantra of, “It is only two years...I will be back home with my family in two years.” It took less than two years for Boston to become my home and the UCTC community to become my family. Although UCTC is technically only a two-year program, its positive impact will forever remain with me. Living in a faith-based intentional community provided support and love to cope with the balancing act of grad school and the first two years of teaching. Even though we are spread out in four different states, my C'14 community remains a source of love and support in my life. Teaching in an inner-city Catholic school challenged and strengthened my faith and improved my teaching. I learned from my students and will continue to use those lessons in my future classrooms. I moved from Boston to Chicago last year to create a new home, but carry the pillars [or core values] of UCTC with me. They are present in my friendships, my classroom, my home, and my faith.
"UCTC ruined me. I thought I would be an amazing teacher who would transfer my knowledge and wisdom to my students. I was going to save the world through my classroom.
I was wrong. I learned through my UCTC experience that education is about relationships, community, and faith. I learned that the students and their families did not care how much I knew until they knew how much I cared. I learned that 'teaching' included being involved in community organizations, going to students' churches and activities, and helping out in parish life. I learned that my students were my brothers and sisters who were looking for someone to walk alongside them in their journey of faith and education. I learned how much I had to learn through collaboration with my cohort members. These cohort members and my East Boston Central Catholic School family made me into an amazing teacher.
Now, I am the principal of an urban Catholic school, attempting to implement the vision that had its birth in my UCTC experience. With great hope, I carry the influence of the teachers, families, and cohort members from my UCTC experience as I attempt to positively influence lives in the city of Cleveland."
"My time in UCTC helped me become a better person. Not only did I grow professionally as a teacher but I learned what it meant to minister as a teacher and how to help my students to become better versions of themselves. The community helped foster a supportive environment in order to make it through my first years of teaching. The pillars of the program shaped me in Ignatian spirituality, ultimately enriching my faith and my ability to meet students where they are. Through this program, I was able to recognize and reflect often on the impact of my students on my teaching and the various ways I encountered Jesus throughout each day. I would not be the same person I am today without UCTC and without being placed at an incredible school, Saint Columbkille Partnership School. I did not stay in Boston, but I did teach incredible students, work with incredible teachers and staff, and gain incredible friends. Now, as a seminarian studying for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, I am very grateful for the continued support I receive from my friends and former students in UCTC and at Saint Columbkille."
"Without ever having been to Boston, I took a leap of faith and accepted a two-year commitment to join the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps of Boston College. I trusted my heart and I had faith that the program's pillars of teaching as ministry, simple living, spirituality, and community living would support me many miles from home. I certainly found that community of support within UCTC. My time in UCTC shaped me into the teacher who I am today. As a Pre-K teacher in my placement school Mission Grammar, I found an environment which showed me that teaching encompasses giving of your best self each day and being a consistent and positive individual in a student's life. I began to kindly call and refer to my students as "friends" because I learned that a classroom community must be rich in compassion and respect. I also learned that the parents and staff who make up the Catholic school community must have a strong collaborative relationship in order to provide students with the best education.
Through teaching children in the inner-city Catholic schools of Boston, I realized that I felt drawn towards the mission of Catholic schools, and thus, my connection with UCTC lived on after my years of service were complete. I remained at my placement school for two additional years, and then I was blessed to be a part of another UCTC school, Saint Columbkille Partnership School. Currently, I am teaching in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati at Immaculate Heart of Mary School, and I certainly credit UCTC for the role it played in guiding my career in Catholic education. On a daily basis, I am reminded of my role as a teacher in UCTC because it lives on in me today. I embraced, and continue to embrace, the opportunity to teach love, which is what has made my past service and current role as a Catholic educator extremely unique. I am forever thankful for the opportunity I had to serve as a member of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps!"
If you are a UCTC alum and would like to share your experience of the program, please email your testimonial and a current photo to email@example.com.
“I am the principal of an urban Catholic school, attempting to implement the vision that had its birth in my UCTC experience. With great hope, I carry the influence of the teachers, families, and cohort members from my UCTC experience as I attempt to positively influence lives.”