Jessica Bryan, teacher at St Patrick’s Silverstream, on being Marist

Jessica Bryan grew up in Sydney, where her family has close historical links to St Patrick’s Church Hill.

Jess attended Marist Sisters’ College, Woolwich, and in her last year at school, having attended Marist Youth Leader in Christchurch, she was invited to join the Marist Youth Leader team.

Over the next five years, while she was studying Exercise Science and Religious Education at Australian Catholic University, all with a view to secondary school teaching, Jess made frequent trips to New Zealand, working with the Young Marists team on a variety of programmes and retreats.

Upon graduation from university in 2015, Jess took up a teaching position at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, where she currently teaches Religious Education and Social Justice.

In your job at Silverstream, how do you relate “Being Marist” to what you do on a day-to-day basis? 

“Besides teaching, I am also involved in mentoring the Manaakitanga Leadership Pou which looks after things such as charity events, pastoral care & community involvement.

“I am part of the Stream Youth Ministry team which plans Masses, retreats and anything related to special character. This year I am also managing the mighty 3rd XV.

“I love teaching at, and being involved with Stream, as it provides me with many challenges and opportunities, but most of all it keeps me connected to the Marist Network.”

“It’s very easy for me to “be Marist” in my work as I am lucky enough to be teaching in a Marist school surrounded by some pretty passionate Marist educators.

“I can relate my day-to-day attitude to a quotation I found from Jean Claude Colin which says “There is a constant and shared desire for an education based on everyday life, where the quality of life and of relationships is as important as the quality of teaching. It’s not just a question of giving knowledge and of transmitting the faith, but also forming men and women who are responsible, solid and prepared to take their place in society.”

“This has become something of an educational philosophy for me, but it is so much more than that. This means that I have to have respectful relationships with each student that will enhance their dignity and form them into the men we want them to be.

“I can’t expect them to grow into good young men if I am not willing to demonstrate the behaviours myself.” Continue reading

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