Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—GENTLENESS

 (Reflections by Four Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Gentleness–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Mrs. _____ is just by far the sweetest, most loving human I have ever had the pleasure to meet and have. One of her best virtues (there are many!) is gentleness. To have the virtue of Gentleness is to be sensitive towards others, tender to everyone’s thoughts and situations, and just be a good person in general. Mrs. _____embodies this virtue and truly deserves any recognition she gets for being an amazing woman. She was never mean to me, once. Like, legitimately, I have never seen her mad. She is so sweet to everyone, even the kids that aggravate her (me sometimes) and she never holds anything against you, even if you have messed up. She will go to the end of the earth to help you excel in her class and she will give you anything you need if she can. Now, I really don’t understand why bad things happen to the most amazing people. I do however know she is one of the most passionate and loving teachers I have had. During one of my rough school years (they are all kinda rough), she was there for me and always listened when I was telling her about things happening to me. The amazing thing about her is that she will always give you help and if you want, a hug :’-). You could be the worst human on earth and I think Mrs. _____ would still manage to like you and help you any way she can. She is like my mom too. I know I can count on her and she knows she can count on me if she needs anything.

Another teacher is Ms. _____.  She was my teacher sophomore year and this year. Her class is one that I enjoy very much. I think that the way she teaches allows her students to really know what the subject is about. I think that Ms. _____ has the virtue of gentleness. In the classroom there are many kids who like to talk every once in a while and that much talking I think would make a person really upset but everyday she calmly asks for silence or waits. I see her in the hallways all the time and when she sees me she always says hi and she remembers my name. These are small ways of showing gentleness but none the less it shows it. She also shows gentleness in the way that she treats the students. There are some topics in _____ that not everyone agrees on and when someone disagrees with others she allows them to. Some teachers would try to perhaps sway the child in the direction they think is right. However Ms. _____ allows the person to know what she believes and she makes people feel as though it is okay to say what they think in the class. I feel as though Ms. _____ is one of the those teachers that if I needed to talk to her about something I could go to her.

Mrs. _____ was yet another teacher that I’ve had during my career as a student that exemplifies a particular quality on this list. I had her for both freshman religion as well as half a year of sophomore year, which focused primarily on the Old Testament. It is throughout this year and a half long relationship that it came to my attention how gentle of a person she was. Everything she said and did was executed with the kindest demeanor you will ever see. This is not to say that she was afraid to reprimand her students. In fact she did this quite often. Many members of my class were rowdy and arguably disrespectful. I was among them. It wasn’t rare to see me after class with Mrs. _____, being disciplined because of my childish disruptions. Never once throughout our 18 month tenure did she ever break in her gentle way of speaking. She disciplined her students, but in the kindest possible way. It was almost the way that a mother would reprimand her kids, but at the same time, not nearly as creepy as the way that analogy sounds. She never forced her students to learn, but we eventually got to a point that we listened simply because we didn’t want to upset such a kind woman.


When discussing the virtue of gentleness, the first person that comes to mind is Mrs. _____. I never had her as a _____teacher, but she was my freshman homeroom teacher. At the beginning of my time at La Salle, things were very difficult outside of school and I needed someone to lean on in my time of need. I found that person to be Mrs. _____. She was there and has been there for all four years of my time here, giving me the right advice I need— “judgements without harshness or emotion.” She never judged me for the things that I know she had never experienced and she spoke to me like I was equal to her despite her supposed superiority. She has always been a friend to me and made sure that I survived my difficult yet exciting four years at La Salle. Without Mrs. _____, I would have most likely transferred at the end of my freshman year when I had doubts about this school. She supported me and never once did I feel a judgement or a negative vibe from her. Mrs. _____ is a very good woman at heart and I know for a fact that this is universally known in the La Salle community


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

12 virtues

Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—VIGILANCE

 (Reflections by Three Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Vigilance–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)


Mr. _____ has the virtue of Vigilance. He is always watchful of me and pays attention to my life, inside and outside of school. When I see him in the halls he always greets me with “How are you doing, _____?” He is always concerned with my well being and my daily life. He would always call me down to his office every now and again to check in and help me with anything that I need. During college applications, Mr. _____ was always vigilant over me and helped me step by step to get through it. He always has a watchful eye for his students and is always helpful even when you don’t expect it.


Mr. _____ (my gym teacher) is extremely representative of the virtue of vigilance – during fitness class, Mr. _____ would always watch over us to make sure that we were doing each workout correctly – not only for our safety but also so that we could all get the proper workout that we all enrolled in fitness to achieve. Mr. _____ left no student behind, and always kept an eye out to see who he could help.


Another teacher would have to be Mrs. _____, the science teacher, and her virtue is vigilance. Even though a lot of students say they hate her, she is just looking out for everyone, making sure our shirts are tucked in, and making sure we are doing the right things. I have her as a teacher for biotech this year and we do a lot of labs and when we do the labs she is watching over all of us because she wants us to get it right and feel good about ourselves when we get the right results. She seems to genuinely care about us now and in our future, showing us what to do when we mess up and letting us learn from our mistakes when we do a little thing wrong. She seems to be the leader of the pack and we are the cubs; we watch what she does then try to replicate it.  She showed us how to pipette and showed us little tips and tricks that we could use to help us in the future. She makes sure we are all dressed proper and if we show respect for her she respects us back and doesn’t treat us like children.  She treats us like people who want to learn.



In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

12 virtues

Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher–ZEAL

(Reflections by Four Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Zeal–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)

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Ms. _____ is my English teacher last year and this year. She is my spirit animal to say the least because I think I will be just like her when I get older. She has the Virtue of Zeal and she makes that evident every day that I have had her class. She starts off every class by yelling, “Good morning ladies and gentlemen! It’s a pleasure to see you today!” if only to wake up all those students who were planning on falling asleep in her class. I have to say that I cannot think of one class where I was completely bored. She teaches material that can be very dry at sometimes with zeal and makes it so that all of her students are involved with discussing and analyzing the stories or material. At times she will act out what is happening in a Shakespearean play so that the class can have a better understanding of what was going on. She has more than once sparked my interest in the books and stories that she makes my class read because her passion for the literature is so contagious. I have to say she is probably at the top of my list of teachers who have the virtue of Zeal.

Mr. _____ (my 9th Grade English teacher) is extremely representative of the virtue of zeal. Freshman year, Mr. _____ underscored the importance of creative writing, and he made it clear throughout the year when we had to do numerous creative writing assignments in his class – these ranged from creating our very own Frankenstein monster, to rewriting a chapter of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, to writing our own haiku’s. Each day that assignments like those were due, Mr. _____ would praise each and everyone of us for our writings, and he’d tell us what he liked about each one. It was this kind of attitude that sparked my interest in writing, and it eventually led me to today, when I can say I am proudly going to college next year with a major in Television WRITING.

Mrs. _____ is one of the most dedicated people who I know. Mrs. _____is dedicated to her students, the theater, and her family. She treats her students as if they were her own children, and though she often wants to yell at us, she never does. Mrs. _____ possesses zeal in her teaching because on late nights during the shows, she makes the sacrifice to be there late away from her baby. She stays with us miserable kids up in the booth so that she can make sure that everyone performing looks good on stage. She also makes the sacrifice to come in the mornings for WLSA meetings, and she sits with me and critiques my work. On my music video, which was the hardest thing I had ever directed, shot, or edited, and frankly I thought it to be garbage, Mrs._____ heard me say all this for months. I wouldn’t let her watch it; I thought it was so bad. She did and told me that it was great; she went through and told me everything that was good about it and would not acknowledge any of the bad I saw in it. Mrs. _____ is committed to having her students succeed, and makes sure of that despite our worst work.  She finds the good in all that we do.

Lastly, I realized the virtue of zeal is extremely present in Mr. _____ and his teaching methods. In the video it states that the definition of zeal is ‘a strong feeling of interest or enthusiasm that makes one eager or determined to do something.’ Although physics is most certainly my weakest subject, Mr. _____ does his absolute best to include everyone in such an enthusiastic manner. He knows that I struggle with the material, so he does many interactive activities to truly help me understand the physics concepts that he teaches. His classroom is so vibrant and full of laughter that it makes me truly want to participate and show him that I really am trying. His is one of the most animated teachers I have and if anyone were to walk into his classroom they could see that and feel the “electricity” that runs through him and his students. I know for a fact that without his teaching methods and enthusiasm to teach, I would’ve lost interest and the drive due to the fact that I struggle immensely with physics. Instead, he fills the classroom with laughter and smiles and makes sure that we want to learn even though it may not be the easiest thing. I appreciate him for the effort he puts in, therefore I put in as much effort as possible.


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

12 virtues

Lasallian Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher—WISDOM

(Reflections by Seniors on Teachers who epitomize the Virtue of Wisdom–completed for Ms. Naughton’s Senior Religion Class)

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The wisdom that Mr. ____ possesses is something that I found quite incredulous- it is even something I recognized the first time I spoke with him. As I had my first conversation with Mr. _____, I realized that Mr. _____ is one of those people who listens to everything you have to say, ponders it, and then offers you the best advice through his knowledge, experience, and judgement. He always knows the right thing to say- and for this, he is wise. His constant guidance, opinion, and input always helps me make the right decision. Mr. _____’s insight is so reassuring, and that’s why numerous people often see him just to chat, especially when they may be going through tough times at home. Although I have only known Mr. _____ since last year, I am so glad that he was welcomed into my life. He’s always there for me, especially when I simply just need someone to listen. I always know where to find him and I am forever grateful that his wisdom has helped me choose the right paths in my high school decisions.

Coach _____ was really the first adult at La Salle that I met. I met him the beginning of the summer before my sophomore year at summer practices. And from that hot day in late June he made an impact on me. To me the virtue he exemplifies is wisdom. Although he is not very old, he is very wise, and probably one of the people I know that commands and receives the most respect. I really have not met a lot of people that dislike Coach _____. I know many that are afraid of him, but no one dislikes him, or has anything negative to say about him. Being a player of his I can attest that although his job is to win games his primary priority is that his players leave the field and leave La Salle a better man. He understands his players and the struggles that we deal with being teenagers in this day and age. He knows where we fall down and fall into temptations because he too is not perfect yet he has learned from past mistakes, and wants to instruct us on how to avoid them. He is not out there to show off or to win any awards; he is truly out there to make us better people. He preaches about family, about school, about sports, about friendship, love, and he says that we need to want to be above average. If we strive for average we will get average. In all areas of our life. He is huge on the principle of consistency and says that it is the single most challenging thing to do, to be consistently positive and good. He speaks about character, and how the real definition is what we are when nobody’s looking. He doesn’t sugar coat things, and because he is sometimes harsh, we as kids, who often don’t listen to adults, get his messages, and they really stick, at least with me. His wisdom has made me a better person I feel, not because it has literally changed and formed me into something better, but because it has made me aware of myself and his messages are always in my head, encouraging me to do the best I can in all areas of life. That is why I feel Coach _____ is very wise.

Next, wisdom is a definite when it came to Mr. _____’s  English class sophomore year. I absolutely adore English, and everything that comes with it, but he opened my eyes wide every time I set foot into his classroom. I learned so much more that just how to write, analyze books and form a sentence. Whether it was a mini history lesson, a life lesson or just a talk about his family, I learned something new everyday. It was amazing. There was always some type of wisdom that he passed onto his students each and everyday. Of course, I also learned a ton of English in the class also. This particular class made me finalize my decision of wanting to be a High School English teacher. I was always thinking about such a career, but Mr. _____ put that into perspective. His innate wisdom that he so unknowingly shared everyday made such an imprint on my life. I’ve thanked him many times, but he just thinks he was doing his job. Yet he has done so much more than just his job.


In 1706, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, listed twelve virtues of a good teacher in his Conduct of the Christian Schools. In 1785, Brother Agathon, the fifth superior general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, reissued the list in a much longer letter titled The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher. His letter was widely distributed for many years, and even up until the 1930s, a number of Catholic colleges used it as a text in education classes.   (Saint Mary’s Press)

12 virtues

One Day–One Moment–One Decision

(Prayer offered on the intranet and the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Friday morning, 22 May 2015)

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of a loving God.

The six women in that video used to be mothers—three of them are mothers whose children have been adopted victims of La Salle Academy. Everyday they thought of their children’s futures. They imagined them growing up to be the amazing people they had always prayed for them to be. But in one day, one moment, all of those dreams were taken away.

The lives of those people were taken from them, from one bad decision. Not just a decision they chose to make, but one that someone else did.

Think about all the great things you want to do in your future and the family that you want to have. The places you want to go and the people you want to be. Those people were never able to experience that. Just because of one bad decision. Its not always you that makes the destructive decision, but someone else, and you could be in harm’s way.

Let us pray: Lord, give us the gift of wisdom to know right from wrong. We pray for the mothers in the video and all people who have lost loved ones due to the destructive decisions of another person. Keep us holy and safe in your care. Amen.

St John Baptist de La Salle………………………..pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts…………………………..forever!

Courtney Caccia and Gabriella Celico—Class of 2018 and SADD members 

Jubilee Year of Mercy


At 5.30 p.m. (Rome time), Saturday 11 April, the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope officially convoked the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with the publication of the Bull of Indiction, “Misericordiae vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”). The Jubilee Bull, aside from indicating the duration, opening and closing dates, and the main ways in which the Holy Year will unfold, constitutes the basic document for understanding the spirit in which it was convoked, as well as Pope Francis’ intentions and the fruit he hopes the Year will bear.

For the proclamation, the Holy Father, accompanied by the cardinals,  proceeded to the entrance of the Vatican Basilica. At the side of the Holy Door the Bull of Indiction was handed to the four cardinal archpriests of the papal basilicas of Rome: Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican; Cardinal Agostino Vallini, archpriest of the Basilica of St. John Lateran; Cardinal James Michael Harvey, St. Paul Outside-the-Walls; and Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major.


Ed Sirois (La Salle Academy Religion Teacher) explains the significance of this Extraordinary Jubilee Year in his video.

Making a List and Checking It Twice

(Prayer offered over the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Thursday morning, 11 December 2014)

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God

 Good morning, La Salle.

In schools across the country, just like here at La Salle, both teachers and students are looking forward to Christmas and other Holidays that bring along a 2 week vacation. This will bring much-needed rest and distance from the classroom for all of us. But, there is a little over a week to go, and a great deal to do and think about in preparation for an organized and effective start to the New Year.


Returning in January from more than a week away from school can pose quite a challenge; after all, time away is time away. Before students head out, I try to engage in one-on-one conversations. Like a department store Santa, I’ll try to uncover what they would like to get out of the second half of the year, either related to content knowledge and/or creative productivity. I am sure to check my “list” more than twice, reviewing and re-evaluating interests and learning styles, and noting who has been naughty and who has been nice.


For students who are organized, productive, enthusiastic, and respectful, the goals set for the second semester will be clear and understood. After writing down three goals and three ways to meet them, they are ready for the increased challenge. Other students need a bit more direction, and so discussions will focus on opportunities and strategies for improvement. One thing is certain, while expectations and offerings come wrapped in ribbons and bows, and gifts aren’t really gifts until they are given.


The cycle of giving and receiving goes beyond the holiday season. Feedback and evaluation follows new assignments, and with hope, makes a difference in the next piece of work completed. Once illuminated, the lights ignited shine brilliantly, and when the visions of sugarplums fade, real dreams can begin.


As we all settle down for a long winter’s nap, let’s take the time to thank God for all that we have in our lives.

Let us pray

Lord, we thank you for the true gifts of the season. Our families, our friends, our lives, our passions and talents. Send us the guidance we need to keep those relationships strong and the desire to seek out the best opportunities we have as individuals.



St. John Baptist de La Salle…Pray for Us.

Live Jesus in our hearts…Forever.

Jeff Danielian–Science Teacher and Director of La Salle Scholars Program

“To Reach a Child’s Mind, a Teacher Must Capture His Heart”

The October edition of The Kappan (published by the National Education Honor Society, Phi Delta Kappa) has as its theme Exploring Classroom Management.  In the Introduction by the editor, Joan Richardson quotes well-known child psychologist and author, Haim Ginott’s Teacher and Child: “How a teacher communicates is of decisive importance….Teachers who want to improve relations with children need to unlearn their habitual language of rejection and acquire a new language of acceptance.  To reach a child’s mind, a teacher must capture his heart.  Only if a child feels right can he think right” (p. 81).

Classroom management consists of all that the teacher does to create a positive learning environment in the classroom.  This includes fostering respectful relationships among students and between students and teacher that allow for risk-taking and failing without fear of repercussions or ridicule; building lessons that motivate the learners, that engage them in problem-solving and critical thinking, that stimulate imagination and creativity, and that relate to the life experiences and interests of the learners; designing and using strategies and procedures that enhance learning by implementing structures, organizing procedures, and establishing routines that facilitate instruction and on-task behavior.  However, above all, the key to classroom management is the person of teacher:

I have come

More than 300 years ago, John Baptist de La Salle wrote about the key principles of classroom management in a book entitled The Conduct of the Christian Schools.  In it he detailed the kind of relationships that must mark the learning environment, the kind of lessons that must be created to deal with the practical reality of the students, and the kind of organization and structure needed to make learning possible.

conduct of schools

However, he (like Ginott) also posited that key to classroom management was the teacher.  The teacher was to be a big brother/sister to his students; the teacher was to be a “Good Shepherd” who knew the students and was able to discern how to deal with each one as an individual.  He offered 12 Virtues for teachers to adopt as their own and to develop, 12 guidelines as it were to convert their classrooms into environments that humanize rather than de-humanize students.


In addition, De La Salle realized that touching the heart of one’s students was central to the educational process.  Touching the heart was and is the way to capture a mind and to reach a soul.  This is the key to all education and to Lasallian education, in particular.

jbdls touch hearts

Brother Frederick Mueller