Today’s Evaluation focus is interesting as we are hearing the same message come across to us from students, from parents, and from teachers.
The feedback from students includes:
* Kids should be more respectful
* Class can get a little out of control
* Some kids won’t be quiet
* Kids get in trouble
Parents weigh in: There are disruptive participants in the class
And those teachers that got such raves in our last E-Thought, and are so generous with their time and talent are frustrated. One wrote: we need a way to lessen student’s improper behavior.
This problem is not new; the same situation existed when our program was ‘traditional.’ It is not just a reality for us; it happens everywhere. But that does not make it right, in fact, we need to hold ourselves to a much higher standard than most. To improve this situation is a major goal of the parish staff and the L.I.G.H.T. Core Team for the upcoming year.
So how do we do that?
First off, let me say, that we have some AWESOME kids in our program. They are smart, funny, interesting, compassionate, and more than capable of the kind of behavior that we are talking about here. We’ve all seen how great they can be. The problem comes when certain combinations of kids get together, and when others don’t feel like being cooperative on a given night.
Kids are forgetting where they are at. They are forgetting what their focus is supposed to be. Even though we try to develop an inviting atmosphere at L.I.G.H.T. where we can grow in our faith in an engaging way, we are still in the house of God. We are still in a community that expects us all to live up to the kind of behavior that is worthy of a follower of Christ. We are always expected to treat one another with kindness and respect. This goes for our peers, our parents, and for the teachers who (again) are SO GENEROUS with their time and their talents.
This year’s theme is going to play right in to how we will address this behavior. We will be looking at “Right Relationships” (I’ll tell you more about that soon!) For now, suffice to say, that we will start off the year right – by setting our expectations clearly out there and reminding everyone of how we need to treat one another in our L.I.G.H.T. Right Relationships.
We will ask students to be monitoring their own behavior and helping their friends to do the same. We will ask parents to be checking in with their students to see how things are going and to help us make sure behavior is up to standard. We will ask teachers to maintain clear expectations of classroom behavior right from the start. If anyone is not living up to their L.I.G.H.T. Right Relationship, we ask that the staff is notified right away so we can take care of any issues and not let them get out of hand.
YES, our teachers can most certainly ‘handle’ a lot. But they shouldn’t have to. They spend their free time preparing for their lessons and sharing their faith with our kids. They should be able to do this in an atmosphere that is reflective of a community that follows Jesus.
Thank you all for your help with this situation. Together, we can make our community even better than it already is. I am looking forward to our upcoming L.I.G.H.T. season and to reconnecting with everyone once again. The upcoming e-thoughts will be talking about some big changes to the logistics of our programming, so stay tuned!
Until then! Have a fabulous day!
See you at Church!