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By Antonius Agus Sulistyono
Nov 1st, 2017

At the moment in St. Petrus Canisius Minor Seminary of Mertoyudan Magelang, Indonesia, in my geography class there is a student who is undiciplined, unfocused, and busy with his own activities; he does not show respect towards the teacher and does not respect discussion. This has happened in every class. His spirit has become more and more decreased and he is left with very little spirit to study in the class. What would you do, you as the teacher ? Cura Personalis Indonesia

This is an interesting question to answer as a teacher, because teachers have the responsibility to find a way to solve this problem. In this case, if we only looked at the problem from a superficial point of view, we would get angry every day and the essential problem of a student would not be solved because we would only recognize the superficial causes. We wouldn’t understand the student’s behaviour, why the student had no motivation and spirit to study in class. As a result, we would become tired and bored with this problem, and eventually our spirit and motivation in learning might also decrease. So, how can we solve this problem?

“Give your heart to his life and bring his life in to your heart”, this statement is very important in order for us to understand the meaning of Cura Personalis. Cura personalis is the Ignatian spirit of education, with the purpose to understand the heart. So, if we looked at the situation of the student who had a problem in learning in geography class, we have to use our heart, not only our mind. In my experience, as a teacher, I would ask my student to come into my classroom, and what would I do? Firstly, I would give them my time and listen the experiences of the student’s life, and I would try to understood the process of his life. Through this, I could find out what happened in his life, and also what causes the student to lose spirit and motivation in class.
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When I did this, when I shared with the student I learned a alot about his life. For example, the high economic pressure of his family, apparently, this problem greatly influenced his thinking, attitude and spirit of learning in the class. And I could imagine, if I was in this student’s situation, it would also weigh on me as I would try to solve this problem. This methodhelped me to understood what I could do to help my student. With the deep care, with heart, with more attention, I could help my student to rise from this problem. Sharing our heart, paying more attention and understanding this student’s life story make everybody aware of the reasons for his behaviour. As well as this, we have to help students to find what purpos God has for their lives, we have to direct them, until a student finds the essential values of life, for example we can ask questions like, “what is God’s purpose for the economic pressure in your family?” I think God gave this particular student a lot of values, for example : perseverence, strength, and courage. This effort to care for our student required a lot of energy and wasn’t easy, but the energy was worth it to help build the character of the student. So, the student’s character is more important than the energy we spent. For me, heart is the key of cura personalis.

I also took this opportunity to listen to the massage from Pope Francis,”You will find life by giving live, hope by giving hope, love by giving love,” and I added, “you will find heart by giving heart.”

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