Young Journalist Award

October 30th, 2017

Congratulations to Year 7 student, Catalina Macfarlane who received an Honourable Mention in the ACU 2017 Young Journalist awards for her story about her Grade 6 Teacher at St Jude's Primary School, Scoresby.

Man of Steele

A teacher; a person who teaches. Whilst most teachers excel in teaching, some thrive in what they learn from the experience of teaching. As quoted in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”- the same can be said for teaching.

In 2016, my teacher, Daniel Steele, proved that teachers have a great responsibility to build up their students, shape their minds and prepare them for great things. In his ninth year of teaching, Mr Steele has proved this and he takes great pride in this responsibility and in doing so displays the gifts of patience, humility and respect.

Not only does being called “Mr Steele” make you sound like a justice hero, it also makes you sound like you can do incredible things.

During 2013-2015, Mr Steele taught in the remote aboriginal community of Bidyadanga, Western Australia. “It was the greatest and hardest thing I’ve done” said Mr Steele. He went well researched on how to engage with aboriginal children but he soon learnt to throw away all his textbook knowledge. He had to change the way he taught because of the different cultures and English dialects. Only by understanding the kids, would he engage them and earn their trust.

After leaving the comforts of Melbourne, to the challenges of Bidyadanga, Mr Steele was changed as a person. Challenges soon turned to great achievements. One of these was their successful involvement in the KidSport program which provided financial support to children who would otherwise not be able to participate. He was quoted saying, “There has been an amazing increase in the young men’s attendance at school and on time arrival, which has led to more KidSport applications and more young men at school.”

Mr Steele said he did it "to make a difference".

When asked what his favourite quote was, he replied a quote his parents always used, “Why wouldn’t you try it?” He lives by this motto. I witnessed this last year when suddenly I found I was a lot more open to learning new things. I learnt the real difference between listening and hearing. I learnt that with a caring, motivated and engaging teacher, suddenly
everything changes. Your confidence skyrockets and you can do great things you would never have considered.

In his blog, Upgrade Think Learn, Mr Steele says, the blog “was created to share positivity, enthusiasm and a genuine belief in teaching and helping anyone...”

In a class of thirtyish students, his ability to bring out the best in children became evident. His passion for not only teaching but learning as well, his unique style of teaching, his respect for his students, his students’ respect for him and the motto he lives by, are all traits of a justice hero. A hero that can help you believe that “you can leap tall buildings in a single bound” – just like Superman.

“In Bidyadanga, I discovered that any kid can, I already knew it, but any kid can learn!” - Daniel Steele.