Every functional organization has in its philosophy and practice some purpose to exist, some motivation behind that purpose, and some principle(s) that guide the operation. MUS is no different. So when a teacher here is confronted with an unprepared student, that teacher responds with something serving as background that offers context to the ordeal.
All of this mumbo jumbo simply serves to identify a culture of expectation, and hopefully everyone, student and teacher, can arrive on the same page.
For example, what's the student doing here anyway? What's his goal?
As a student here, his goal should be the same as the school's goal, the school's purpose. MUS definitely has a purpose, and it is explained through its mission statement, expanded by its philosophy statement.
The motivation for such a purpose rests squarely in the honor system, building upon past academic performance standards, maintaining leadership development, athletic achievements, and tradition of exceptional fine arts, all seen through the lens of the school's history.
The principles guiding all this are found in the MUS Community Creed.
We remind ourselves often of these things, and we impress them upon the students. This is who we are. Therefore, the teacher and the student share the same overall culture of expectation when they enter the case before us, that being one of the student applying minimal effort in a competitive environment.
So, when an MUS student falls behind in his responsibilities, which students do here from time-to-time because they are young, learning what stamina requires, inconsistent in their efforts, and still maturing, we adults (parents and faculty) have the opportunity and obligation to confront them with all of this framework at the point where they fall short. We believe that inside of each of them is the spark that can ignite the necessary fuel needed in order to respond appropriately.
In the hopes that they return with some positive actions under their control, we often resort to reciting two specific tenets of our Creed, both to ourselves and to the boys:
Tenet #2: Scholarship: An MUS student actively seeks knowledge and understanding, and he encourages that pursuit among his classmates.
Tenet #7: Accountability: An MUS student takes responsibility for his actions and accepts their consequences.
All that to say, the background offers context to today's faculty email (exact wording selected form today's communication) to a parent about their son regarding some lackadaisical results at the beginning of a new week...this in the fourth quarter of the school year:
Please encourage him to spend extra time on the academics these last few weeks. We know he is capable. My concern is whether or not he has the will to make the necessary effort to achieve his best rather than just getting by when possible. We all know that minimal effort sometimes earns you failing grades rather than passing by the skin of your teeth.