Saturday, 23 June 2018

Of Don Bosco and his method:

June 23-24 : Birth of John the Baptist:

“Don Bosco’s example has created a tradition which is one of the most admired and character istic features of our Society: the Salesian who plays games. On how many occasions have rela-tives of the boys and other visitors stood in amazement, enrap-tured and spellbound at the sight of Masters and Assistants running about in the playground, nimble and breathless, mak-ing themselves boys with boys and uniting their pupils and themselves in the enjoyment of one common pleasure, in a happy family spirit, which could not fail to impress everyone by its simplicity, charm and eminently educational influence. This is the same spirit that our Holy Founder himself created and wished to be perpetuated in our traditions. Under those conditions, especially, the Salesian’s power over the boys in his charge is supreme; following in Don Bosco’s footsteps, he is not slow to seize an opportunity of giving a word of advice which, precisely because it is unexpected and above suspi-cion, goes home, breaks down barriers, and obtains unex-pected results.”

  Fr Peter Ricaldone, “Fidelity to Don Bosco”.
 “An educator cannot over-value games in his work. Games open up the hearts and minds of pupils to their full extent, and certain notions or inclinations which no one could otherwise suspect will unknowingly surface during a game; so that in a flash the man-to-be is revealed in all his goodness or deform-ity."   Fr Peter Braido SDB

“Do not reprimand or correct when you are angry or upset, lest your pupils attribute it to anger, but wait, even a few days if nec-essary, until you  have calmed down. Likewise, when you must correct, reprimand, or warn a pupil, always try to do it in private and when he is not upset or angry. Wait till he is calm and at ease. Then tell him what you must, but end up with an encourag-ing word ...
And he would add: Be quick to forgive - and do so wholeheart-edly - whenever a pupil shows he is sorry. In this case forget eve-rything ... When punishment is unavoidable, take your pupil aside and show him his wrong as well as your regret to have to punish him.
Never punish a whole class or dormitory. Try to single out the culprits, and if necessary have them sent away; but never lump together the good and the bad -  the latter are always a few - lest all be made to suffer for them. At the same time encourage the guilty ones who show good will and give them a chance to straighten themselves out.”    
Don Lemoyne, BM VI 216-217
 A new comer to the teaching profession, Father Vespignani just could not obtain discipline in class.
"What more can I do ?" he asked Don Bosco in despair.

"Go to the pump", was Don Bosco's enigmatic reply.
At this playground water pump the boys would gather after meals to unwind in casual talk and carefree horseplay. After a few days at the pump, Father Vespignani's problems were solved, as vital contact had been made through familiarity.

 “Remember that education is a matter of the heart, and that God alone is its true Teacher, and that we cannot succeed unless God gives us the skill and hands us the keys.”    

St John Bosco