Schools have a unique rhythm and we are heading into what is the most sensitive, stressful, and emotional collection of experiences within that rhythm.
In the coming weeks many members of the LCS community will be in the midst of transitioning away from LCS and Accra. Students will be bidding farewell to friends and contemplating the uncertainty of next steps. Parents will also be experiencing similar transition steps. It can be challenging.
During this process, students will also be immersed in activities at school including pushing forward with academic projects including final exams for high school students. The stressors grow in the coming weeks.
Graduation is the penultimate ceremony and most significant and memorable transitional event. The pomp and circumstance of graduation are greatly symbolic of the multiple layers of transition that our high school graduates will experience.
Generally we think about the impact on those students who are leaving and we do our best to ease their challenges for departure. However, years ago it became very apparent to me that transitions are also about those who are not leaving. Those remaining Continue reading
The move from Grade 5 to Grade 6 is a big deal. Having said that, witnessing this transition for students for the past 20 years it is also fairly predictable. It is exciting and challenging for the average student. It is extremely difficult for kids who struggle with organization. It is a joy ride for students who thrive on multiple notebooks, organized pencil cases,and multi-colored highlighters. By and large, it is an opportunity that most kids embrace to experience growing privileges, added responsibilities, multiple workloads to balance, and a fast paced collage of social interactions that include complex friendship groups, online exposure and interactions, “by the lockers” gossip. Make no mistake, the social world of a Grade 6 student is a not so subtle challenge.
Add social challenges to the academic workload to the new found freedom to moving between classes to exposure to older students and older ideas and you have a stew that brews for weeks and months and leads to a myriad of challenges along the way. It is not easy being a grade 6 student.
But…..all is not lost! Good teachers who are sensitive to the needs of this age group, structured opportunities to interact, ongoing and specific attention to challenged students, and a general openness of grade 6 students to discuss and consider right and wrong choices provides a mix for supporting, guiding, and teaching.
I’ve always considered Grade 6 students as the “morality police”. They really do insist upon “fairness”. As they move through grade 6 at different paces, they are Continue reading
Role Models.…Students need role models. Role models they can identify with. They need examples of young people doing extraordinary things – and being ordinary people along the way! They need mentors to support and encourage.
I recently came across TedXTeen. Here’s a collection of really interesting young people. It is worth exploring the links from TedXTeen. I’m sure it will prove interesting. Here’s the link. Navigate yourself to the talks by participants! Here’s the link below:
A school climate survey was conducted in March through a survey of students. 287 of our 350 students responded to the survey. How are we doing?
Below is the table of some of the results from the survey. The results in the columns represent the percentage of students who agree or strongly agree in one column and the percentage of students who disagree or strongly disagree in the other column.
Here’s an example of how to read the survey. Take a look at statement #3 “Teachers Respect Students”. 89 % of students agree or strongly agree while Continue reading
In Mid-March, approximately 70% of the LCS students participated in an online student survey. I haven’t posted all the results but here is what students said about certain items. The goal of the survey was to gather student feedback on the culture of the school. In addition, it is an opportunity to gather student feedback on the vision of the school.
Let me start with a few bottom lines for me. I consider a school to be successful if students and faculty are engaged in learning, are eager to come to school daily, are setting and responding to high expectations and challenge, and are engaged with a variety of interests and activities. I believe students must feel safe, supported, connected and cared about. School should be fun. Finally, school should help build resilience in students in overcoming obstacles and challenges.