What We Value
Sometimes I’m naïve and think school’s all about academics— math, English, science, history— but the academics are just a portion of “school.” Along with academics, school is also about the social, spiritual, and physical lives of our students (truly “mind, body, and soul”).
Tuesday’s intruder/lockdown drill reminded me of that, and it reinforced the core values I shared at the beginning of the year,
Core Values (in rank order)
- Model Christ
- Safety & Security
- School First
- Classroom Instruction
At CAC, above all else, we should model Christ in all we do. We do that by extending grace and patience while at the same time having high standards. Jesus perfectly balanced compassion, grace, and love with correction, justice, and consistency… and we should do the same to the best of our abilities. Some situations are easier than others, but in the end, each situation we encounter is an opportunity to model Christ.
Our second value is safety and security, as we were reminded this week. Our students should feel safe and secure at school, and as teachers, it’s our responsibility to create that environment to the best of our ability. That’s why we had a training last week with police officers last week and conducted a drill as a school. That’s why we took time in class and during chapel to answer student questions. That’s why we do simple things like locking classroom doors, checking attendance, monitoring students in the hallways and classrooms, and enforcing our policies about doors. Each day, it’s our small actions and attention to detail that help our students feel safe and secure.
Our third value is school first—making decisions with the whole school in mind rather than our own classes. There are so many moving parts throughout a school day, that small changes have major impact. For instance, when the bell rings, keeping students longer impacts multiple teachers because the students in class are most likely going to be late to several different classes. Keeping them late may benefit your class, but it negatively impacts several. It’s important we all remember we are part of a larger picture, and it’s important we step back and see the whole frame and consider how each decision impacts others.
Finally, it’s time for classroom instruction— but not before we’re modeling Christ, our students feel safe and secure, and we’ve made decisions with the school in mind. A teacher’s main job responsibility is to teach, but without the first three values in place, the classroom environment will suffer and the school culture will be negative; however, with the first three values, the environment is set for quality instruction to take place and the culture of the school is one where we are all working together.
Granted, it would be a lot easier to be naïve and focus only on the academics— but that’s not all school is about, and it’s certainly not what our school is about. In order to inspire excellence, independence, and a transforming faith in God, we need to be about the “body, mind, and soul” of each of our students.