Recently a member of the Toowoomba community, with no link to our College, made a comment to me at a social function about the outstanding manners and respect that a small group of St Joseph’s College students demonstrated when at the High Street Plaza after school one day. The person reported to me that they noticed an elderly lady was struggling with her trolley and three St Joseph’s College students offered to assist her with the trolley and getting the groceries into her car. As Principal of our College I am sure you can imagine how proud I was at that moment. Later on that evening when reflecting upon the comment that individual made, it got me thinking about manners and courtesy and how and when students are most likely to learn and develop these habits.
When researching the idea, I came across a recent survey of 1000 parents in America who found that the basics of good old-fashioned courtesy were rarely used by children. Words such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘may I?’ and ‘excuse me’ were replaced by grunts and demands. The survey commissioned by the Disney Entertainment Group to mark the release of a new DVD edition of Beauty and the Beast, indicated that “three out of four parents thought that children were less well-mannered than in previous generations.” Heather Zubek.
There is no doubt that our earliest relationships provide a model for all our future relationships, and learning to trust other people as feeling, thoughtful human beings, will form the basis for having happy, satisfying relationships. To develop these happy, satisfying relationships, we will need good manners and basic courtesy.
Good manners need to be taught for they are important skills that our children should develop when they are young, so they can enjoy the benefit of them for the rest of their lives. It is in the family home that the “manners seed” needs to be planted and nurtured, along with core values and ethics. It is in the family home that children learn to be considerate, tolerant and respectful; this learning comes through parental guidance and example.
When children are polite, kind, honest and cooperative, they develop character and exhibit social skills that help others feel comfortable. These relationship building skills, also help children -and adults- to get on with friends and neighbours and, if the occasion arises, to resolve differences of opinion in a courteous and healthy way.
It has been said that “Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength”. Author Unknown. It is also an expression of ignorance of courteous behaviour and children who do not have social skills, can have a difficult time making lasting friendships with their peers and being accepted generally. They have missed out on learning the “Golden Rule”: Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated.
Manners are respect in action and should be learnt and taught through the experiences of daily living. “Mind your manners” often used to come from the lips of parents and indicated that their children knew what it was that needed to be “minded”. In a society that rarely offers example or support for parents, teaching manners to our children can be lonely and tedious. However, to see our children grow in respect and consideration for themselves and others will be a rich reward for effort.
As a College we place a great emphasis on appropriate and respectful relationships as part of the ‘Joey’s Way’ and we hope that by working in cooperation and partnership with parents, we are able to guide our students towards using their manners and being respectful and courteous. This week we pray that we are able to continue to work with parents in assisting all of our students to act in the same manner as the three outstanding role models highlighted.
Parent and School Partnership Prayer
O Lord, we give you thanks for having given us children and students.
They are our joy, and we accept with serenity the worries, fears and challenges that they bring us.
Help us to love, care, guide and educate them sincerely.
As parents through us you gave life to them; as Teachers through us you gave life’s lessons to them.
From eternity you knew them and loved them.
Give us the wisdom to guide them, patience to teach them, vigilance to accustom them to the good through our examples.
Congratulations Year 12 Students
Congratulation Year 12 cohort on two wonderful examples of maturity and leadership that you have displayed over the last week.
Firstly, last Friday was an outstanding day for the St Joseph’s College community with the culmination of a great book week filled full of activities and this day was greatly impacted upon by the Year 12 cohort. The way in which the Year 12 students presented and conducted themselves last Friday on their last day of normal lessons was exemplary. They threw themselves whole heartedly into their final day of normal lessons by coming dressed in fancy dress or a book week character which bought great joy not only to their cohort but also the rest of the College.
The other example of outstanding leadership has been the Year 12 student’s application to their external exams over this first week. The students have come prepared, dressed appropriately and with a great determination to do the best they can in their external exams. Well done Year 12 students keep working hard you are nearly there.
2021 Middle Leadership Staffing
During 2020 a group of teachers have been involved in consulting with our College staff on what Middle Leadership Structure they believe would best suit the context of St Joseph’s College to lead our community into the future. This consultation was extensive, and all employees of St Joseph’s College were invited to provide input into proposed structures and then feedback on the structures recommended by the group before they were presented to me for final approval.
As a result of these consultations there will be some changes to the St Joseph’s College Leadership Team from the beginning of 2021 and I would like to acknowledge a number of teachers who will no longer have middle leadership positions and congratulate other teachers who will now undertake roles.
To Mrs Stead, Mrs Nunn and Miss Skinner, I thank you on behalf of the community for the wonderful contributions you have made as middle leaders of St Joseph’s College. Your energy, enthusiasm, commitment, leadership and passion for your subjects has been greatly appreciated. The St Joseph’s College community has been very fortunate to have you serve them as middle leaders and we look forward to you continuing on in teaching roles in 2021.
To the teachers who are listed below who will make up the College Leadership Team from the beginning of 2021. On behalf of the community I congratulate you on your appointment and I very much look forward to working with you to finalise and action our strategic plan for the next four years.
Staff Development – Mrs Emily Whiting
Senior School Learning Leader – Mrs Karen Tobin
Middle School Learning Leader – Miss Kellie-Marie Ford
Sport Leader – Ms Deb Newton
Cultural Leader – Ms Madeleine Minns
eLearning Leader – Ms Leigh Price
Enhance Learning Leader – Mr Darcy Goodall
Religious Education – to be advised
English and Languages – Mrs Cate Park-Ballay
Mathematics – Mrs Angela Harris
Science – Mr William Whiting
Arts – Mrs Cathie Barton
Technologies – Mr Brian Cantwell
Humanities and Commerce – Mr Andrew Fellenberg
Health and Physical Education – Mr Mitch Kilgour
Brennan House – Mr Luke Logan
McAuley House – Mrs Mel Zenke
Murphy House – Mr Rod Spain
Rice House – Mr Tom Moore
Student Induction – to be advised.