This year we welcomed two new members to our Teaching Staff, Ms Marie Fitzpatrick as our Guidance Counsellor and Ms Shiela O’Donnell as a Teacher of Maths. We are delighted to say that both have settled seamlessly into The College and both have brought great experience and talent to our teaching staff. Ms Fitzpatrick and Ms O’Donnell have very kindly written a reflection on their 1st full year in DLS Churchtown.
My first year as a Teacher in De La Salle College
I started working as a guidance counsellor in De La Salle College this year. Having come from a much larger local boys school, I made the decision to move to De La Salle for a number of reasons:
Very positive feedback from teachers and parents/guardians of students who attended the college.
The size of the school; I knew the small size would allow me the opportunity to get to know the students on a different level which would help me to give individualized attention to students whether in a guidance or counselling capacity.
As a local, I love the idea of being really embedded in the community where I work. I feel this gives me a greater vested interest in the development of the school.
I was not disappointed! De La Salle is the embodiment of everything good about small schools. It provides a pastoral care system where every student is well known, valued and supported by a team of year head, tutors, mentors and management.
Small schools allow every student the chance to shine. I found in my teaching career that it is easier in a larger school for students to get lost. In reality it is difficult to give individual attention to very large numbers of students. In De La Salle every student is known by name. We have knowledge about their families and their environments which allows us to provide individualised attention based on their needs.
As a guidance counsellor this is my dream job. I can get to know the students and develop a very strong relationship which allows me to really support them on their education journey. I love the fact that so many of the students are highly ambitious and looking to college/career goals so early on in their school lives.
I have loved my first year in De La Salle. The students are a dream cohort to work with; a lovely combination of motivated, artistic, kind and empathetic lads. The fact that I am a sixth year tutor allows me to form a strong relationship with the lads which helps me to guide them on their journey after school.
Ms M. Fitzpatrick
My first year in De La Salle College – A Teacher’s Perspective
Starting as a new member of staff or as a first year student in many ways are no different. Both have different roles and responsibilities but nevertheless, you are both starting a new journey, meeting new people and making new friends.
This year may have seemed even more daunting with a global pandemic making us question if or when we will be returning to online learning. Even the new faces on the first day were actually just new eyes with the takeover of the dreaded mask. But for me, at least, this year was not at all daunting, thanks to the support, guidance and kindness I was shown from the first day I walked through the gates of De La Salle College on the 26th of August last year. Each member of staff made me feel right at home and I was constantly reminded of their open door policy if I ever needed support or even a chat. The students here at De La Salle College are among some of the politest, most ambitious and driven young men I have ever met. I'm looking forward to what the future holds here at De La Salle College.
Ms S. O'Donnell