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From the Principal

Dear St Michael’s College Community,

As we are aware, there are many great things about St Michael’s College, including a strong sense of community, positive learning culture, extensive and varied opportunities, and wonderful facilities. We are most fortunate however to have outstanding, dedicated, and passionate staff who genuinely know, value and care for the young people entrusted to their care. At the centre of this is the forming of strong, positive relationships.

Whilst at the heart of a Lasallian school is a commitment to the student through “the human and Christian education of the young, especially the poor”, we are also blessed with a heritage that deeply values and acknowledges the importance of quality educators and the role of the educator. One of De La Salle’s greatest legacies was in the formation of educators and imbuing within them an understanding of the importance of their work. This is taken seriously by the staff at St Michel’ College today. His writings were extensive and include statements well known to those in Lasallian schools…….

“You can perform miracles by touching the hearts of those entrusted to your care.” (Med 180.3 – feast of St Hilarion)

“This work of teaching is one of the most important in the Church.” (MTR 7.1 [Med 199.1])

“To be entrusted with the teaching of the young is a great gift and grace of God.” (MTR 9.1 [Med 201.1])

”Know your students individually and be able to understand them.” (Med 33.1)

“Young people need good teachers, like visible angels.” (MTR 5.1 [Med 197.1])

Each year, I offer the opportunity for our Year 12 students to offer statements of gratitude to staff who have had a particularly positive impact on them at St Michael’s College. These statements of gratitude can make a genuine difference, both to those who receive them and those who provide them. They also provide an important insight into the great work of staff and how it positively impacts on students, as well as reinforcing what makes a great teacher. Below are some recent examples with names removed in a spirit of the representative nature of the comments:

  • During my time here at SMC, I have found the staff and teachers to be outstandingly supportive in creating a nurturing learning environment. It is clear in all that they do that they wish to see their students not only succeed but to flourish.
  • This teacher has supported me academically, emotionally and socially throughout my time in her subject, as she is passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated to giving her students both an enjoyable and educational experience. She creates a positive environment by developing lessons which are inclusive of each individual’s learning style. She is empathetic towards students, which establishes a positive dynamic in the class as individuals feel comfortable asking for help, applying feedback and are motivated to work. I appreciate her efforts to provide me with valuable advice and opportunities to extend my skills within the school community and beyond, and I feel very fortunate to work with her.
  • I owe a lot to this teacher for helping me make the most of the opportunity I have, being at SMC. He is an infinite source of encouragement and support and has been a leading presence in inspiring me to strive for excellence, not just in the classroom, but in all aspects of my life. While he takes a unique approach in motivating his students, setting goals that may seem out of reach, he knows exactly what his students are capable of achieving and will do all that is within his power to help them get there. Having had him as a pastoral teacher, as well as a maths teacher, I have had the honour to not only study with him, but to get to know him on a personal level. His vibrant personality shines through his teaching, and he enjoys bringing a little fun into the classroom. He develops strong relationships with his students, encouraging them to shine and achieve their best. I am proud to have known such a loving and inspiring man.
  • This teacher has made an extensive effort to help me achieve highly in subjects throughout years 11 and 12. She is considerate, thoughtful, empathetic, and fair towards her students, which establishes a positive dynamic in the class as individuals feel comfortable asking for help, applying feedback and being motivated to work. She is highly knowledgeable and willing to work alongside students in and outside of the class, during her own time, to uncover their strengths and passions and extend their skills to produce the best piece of work possible.

As the end of my time at St Michael’s College is nearing, it would be remiss of me not to mention the support that all my teachers have offered me throughout this year. However, this teacher stands out as their passion for the subject and bright personality motivated me to strive to achieve my best results in their subject. I feel as though they truly reflect the Lasallian ethos perfectly through their attitude towards education.

Educating young people is more than a job for the staff at St Michael’s College and I thank them for their ongoing passion, talent and commitment to the young people entrusted to their care. I would encourage you to do the same if the opportunity presents itself.

Kind regards,

John Foley