By Andrew Song ‘20, Staff Writer. Photo by Andrew Song.
Glorifying God, Partnership, Truth, Respect, Excellence, and Honesty. These are the “LCA Core Values” — clear and virtuous features of the LCA community. Boldly displayed throughout the building, they are one of the first things visitors see, both online and onsite, and are a major factor of the “LCA impression” outsiders experience. But are those truly representative of what we believe? If not, what do we, as the LCA community, think we value the most?
To begin to answer these questions, the Blue and White asked several LCA students “what do you think LCA’s Core Values are?” The results were astounding. However, as a disclaimer, it should be considered that we were only able to interview a small sample of students from various grades. With such a small sample, it may not be fully statistically representative of the LCA student body.
It was surprising to listen to the students’ responses. Though some students were able to come close to some of LCA’s Core Values (such as Glorifying God, using language such as “love God” and “strong Christian faith”), most were unable to fully remember what LCA’s six Core Values were. Moreover, even veteran LCA students had trouble articulating them — as one such student put it, “I have been here for six years, and I do not know.”
So what did students say instead? The responses varied from person to person. One student said strength, loyalty, and pride, and another emphasized kindness and obedience — clearly showcasing the individually different and diverse nature of perspectives in the community. Despite this, there was a unified consensus on a certain theme — Glorifying God. Though the exact language of “Glorifying God” was rarely used, most expressed values with a similar theme, such as “loving God,” “Strong Christian faith,” “Prayer,” and “Christ-like values.” It seems that even the teachers agree that these values apply to the LCA community, according to Mrs. Bloodworth, “we are very fortunate to be able to freely express our faith in our school.”
Is it a problem if many students do not know LCA’s Core Values? “Not necessarily,” says Mrs. Hashem. “Just because students can’t list the core values doesn’t mean that it doesn’t describe the community.” To find out if this is the case, I interviewed teachers to ask if and how they experience the core values manifested in the community.
Mrs. Bloodworth, a foreign-language teacher, seems to agree. “Partnership, everybody seems to want everybody to succeed,” she says, “everybody wants to do the best … if you find your niche, and you succeed in that area, teachers will support you … [essentially] excellence in each individual’s way.”
Ms. Chang, a computer science teacher, further supports this claim by saying, “I think as a classroom teacher I try to pull [excellence and truth] out the most from kids” “[I] really want students to do their work honestly [instead of going] through the motions.”
However, though both seem to agree that LCA’s community clearly demonstrates excellence in partnership, they have mixed views on the two other virtues described by the core values: respect and honesty.
“[Students] are convicted to tell the truth for the most part … [and] … respect for the most part, I think in respect we all need to grow,” says Mrs. Bloodworth, “I am from another country, I am teaching my culture, and I want everybody to behave.”
Furthermore, Ms. Chang brought to attention that the community might need more work on the core value of honesty: “[Some students] start cutting corners, but that is not doing anybody a favor… they are not getting the most out of [their] education if they are just copying each other’s work or not putting their all into the class”
Yet, despite this, both were very understanding about these deficiencies in the LCA community. “There is a lot of pressure and a lot of work around kids, and I get it. Even I was a student [once],” said Ms. Chang. “Everybody is human,” says Mrs. Bloodworth, “[especially the] middle schoolers, [they] are teenagers … their frontal [cortices] are not as developed.”
Based on their responses, it seems that overall, the LCA community demonstrates its core values for the most part, though some more effort may be needed for them to be fully embodied in the community. Ultimately, the core values, despite not being known verbatim by most, seem to be imprinted into the LCA culture.