#1 - Know who Christ is
Christ is the one who called you into this profession. Like it or not, He is the reason you are here. You may have an excuse stating otherwise, but He put you in a classroom to help love you and to draw closer to you. He's on your side and wants you to succeed. Know Him and you will have the best professional development this life has to offer: the Catholic faith.
#2 - Know Christ's Church
You have been given supernatural help. The church is more than just an institution - she is the world's largest charity. With 2000 years of deep history, the church reaches beyond what we can merely see. You are supported by a network of people constantly praying for your profession the world over; and don't forget the Angels and Saints in heaven, who God himself sends to guide and support us in unceasing prayer.
#3 - Know Who You Teach
Teaching refugees has changed how I love my students. Learning of the sacrifices families have made to come to our country is astonishing. I have taught families who have fled their country because they were afraid for their lives. Of anywhere they could be, they are in my classroom. They don't have to be afraid of persecution or of corrupt officials, because they know they are in a safe community with compassionate adults.
You will teach people who are amazing, so just appreciate them. Their journey to your classroom door has taken them years and they have traveled thousands of kilometres to get there. Show them you are happy to see them, because Christ has brought them there. You are not their teacher by accident.
#4 - Know Why You Are Teaching
Yes, we need to give students the skills to help them succeed in life - no doubts here. We also must take to heart that we are able to reach young people as we fill a very specific role. You can do so much more than teach a subject. You can teach a soul how to get to heaven. Students may grow old and forget how to read, multiply, or why WWII started, but nothing can undo a soul encountering Christ and being changed for all eternity. There is nothing more beautiful than this and Papa Benedict would agree.
Don't kid yourself, Christ will be with you and guide you in ways you never thought possible. I find the best part of this profession is that my best days are just stepping aside and watching God work. He is the true teacher, so let Him teach through you.
"There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him."
- from the 2005 inaugural homily of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI