It takes two: he loves his subject

Jim Gillespie and Patrick Rosato
Jim Gillespie and Patrick Rosato

Catholic schooling is a work of love and nowhere is the work of love and learning more evident than in the relationship between teacher and student. Research highlights that teachers’ belief and commitments are the greatest influence on students’ achievements.

In a four-part series, we’ve taken a closer look at the teacher-student relationship and how it makes better learners and teachers. Jim Gillespie teaches Year 12 student Patrick Rosato at St Columba’s Catholic College, Springwood.

Patrick says Mr Gillespie is a good guy who is more than just a teacher. 

‘He is hard working, he helps everyone and he’s fair, honest and helpful,’ says Patrick. ‘Mr Gillespie is really committed to his students as individuals and I respect him because he treats me with respect.’ 

‘He has really made a difference to my learning and he set up extra classes to help students who want to do more study. He tests us in class to make sure we know what we have to know,’ said Patrick. 

Patrick says Mr Gillespie loves his subject and this comes across in his teaching. ‘He expects everyone to work as hard as they can and get the best results they can and he makes the subject accessible and creates a want for learning,’ said Patrick. 

Jim Gillespie says he sees the good in all kids and wants to see them flourish. 

‘In Pat’s case, I have learned that adversity can make people even stronger,’ said Jim. ‘Even through the hardship of losing his home in the bushfires, Pat’s attitude to his learning has not changed. He is respectful, always cheerful and dedicated to his studies.’

‘I have seen Pat grow from a sound student in Years 7 to 10 to now as a Year 12 student where he works to achieve the best result,’ said Jim. ‘He understands what hard work is and the effort needed to achieve excellent results.’

Jim says he is motivated by seeing students achieve at a high level and the enthusiasm that this instills in them. 

‘I have a great love of working with young people and seeing the rapport that is built between teacher and student. I think I have a never-give-up attitude.’