“…some people are going through the same thing I am…others can help you and comfort you when you are going through a hard time…that God is always with you and not to be scared…”
These comments were written by LCS Middle School students last week in response to the prompt, “What is something important you have learned here at LCS in the last year?”
We realize that this approach to gauging student feelings about their LCS experience is not an exact science, but it does allow us a glimpse at some of the major thoughts and feelings of our students. The dominant themes emerging from responses of over 125 Middle School students are reflected by these comments:
- Some friendships are hard
- I am not alone in the struggle of middle school
- Choosing the right friends is important
- Be nice to each other…let others in your group
- Don’t hold grudges…be kind to those who are different
- A lot about my grammar (next week we’ll work on spelling!)
- The more you pay attention in class, the better your grade is
- All people have skills and abilities that were given by God and we can’t be the best at everything all the time
- I have learned more about prayer, kindness, and friendships
- Not doing homework affects your grade
- There are a lot of cameras (not sure what this student did that was caught on camera!!)
As one might anticipate for the age and stage of life for these students, the overall themes of their responses focused on lessons they are learning related to interpersonal relationships, new areas of academic learning, and applications of spiritual truths. At first glance some of their observations seem rather simple; upon further reflection, many are profound.
High School: What do you appreciate?
Many of our high school students were asked to comment on what they appreciate about LCS. The most common theme from the 9th-12th students was an appreciation for their teachers, their peers, and the school environment. Representative samples include:
- The atmosphere helps me grow in the Lord
- Teachers care about you and want you to learn
- Teachers are passionate about what is best for their students
- My team is like a family…my teammates are like brothers
- I am confident that I am being prepared for college and for life
- Welcoming, understanding staff and friendly students were the biggest help in my transition to a new school
- There is a sense of community, comfort, and connection
- Even when I come up short, my teachers are dedicated to help
- I feel great and at home in this school
- The school has shaped and changed all of us
- The biggest impact LCS has had is guiding me in my walk with Christ
- The faculty educates and displays how God harmonizes thinking, feelings, and doing to create a uniquely robust, academic atmosphere.
High school responses tended to have a more long-range perspective and increasing clarity in connecting what they are learning today and how that will impact their tomorrow.
How can we make it better?
To tell the whole story about our survey of almost 300 LCS secondary students, they were also asked how we could make LCS better. A review of those responses indicates that by extending the lunch periods and relaxing the dress code sweatshirt rule we would catapult LCS into a near-perfect experience!
What did they tell us?
So what do we take away from this exercise?
- An overwhelming number of LCS students appreciate their peers, respect their teachers, and sense that they are receiving an excellent education.
- Students are very aware of the spiritual growth they are experiencing as part of the LCS community.
- All student experience is not the same. Some students struggle with peers, find academics difficult, and get discouraged from time to time. Schools are full of imperfect people in need of a Savior. Everyone swims upstream in some area of life. We need community.
- Students sense the care and support of a family of families that is committed to their growth and best interest.
- And, it sounds like we need to take another look at the lunch schedule and the dress code!