Opinion editorials, reviews and personal essays
By Colin Jun
During the grade meeting on March 6, 2018, every student in our school participated in a unique survey that our school students have never done. Stress Zero once conducted small research related to the stress level of the students in our school last year; however, this is the first time the school conducted a formal survey about the stress. Although many students call this survey the “stress survey,” the formal name for this survey is the Social Emotional Learning Survey. The Social Emotional Learning survey investigates the five core principles that support a student’s academic and social activity in and out of the school. (The five core principles include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.) As it investigates various aspects of our school life, it is natural for the survey to have more than 40 questions –it was long, but it was also thorough.
The fact that 97% of our students participated in this survey is a remarkable statistic to remember. However, the more impressive and essential part of this survey is analyzing the results. Let’s take a look at some of the data that is released through the Powerpoint Presentation by Dr. Lee (Source). The data (released) suggests the majority of our school students have a positive image of their school life. The majority of our students responded that taking classes and doing well in classes is a valuable experience for themselves and their future. Regarding engagement, the majority responded that they are interested in the class and are also eager to participate in the class. Regarding our school spirit – eagle spirit, these results are not surprising. We can observe it in everyday life.
Regarding school safety and sense of belonging to the students, many students (fortunately) responded that they feel comfortable with their school life and believe they belong to the school. Well, we can see many students enjoy their school life – think how many students are in Commons during break time and how many times we have community meetings! However, there are other aspects of the survey results that we have to take look at. Some people feel they do not belong to SAS and believe it is difficult for them to get help from others. This result suggests our school and students should put more effort in to ensure every student is a part of our community. The school could host more events or activities, other than community meetings, that can bring school students together and allow more students to get engaged. Of course, the most critical key to this issue is the role of students. We have to look at ourselves to ensure every student around us is a part of our community – clubs will be the best tool to engage more students in the community. We should not hesitate to help more students. With a collaborative effort of students, teachers and the school as a whole, it is not an impossible mission for us to create a school community which everyone feels a sense of belonging.
Interpreting these results, we have to understand that there is the possibility of people “trolling” (making jokes) in response or people dishonestly responding to the survey. However, in comparison with our everyday school life, many will respond the result is reasonably reliable. Column McCann, an award-winning Irish writer, stated: “People are good or half good or a quarter good, and it changes all the time- but even on the best day nobody is perfect.” As people cannot be perfect, the school, consisting of people, cannot be perfect for everyone in our school. However, there is one thing that school and our community can do – put in as much effort as possible to become perfect.
Editor's Note: While the writer of this article is a Pudong Press writer, the opinions expressed in this article are the writer's own and do not reflect the beliefs of Pudong Press.
Lee, Benjamin. PDHS Social Emotional Learning. 9 Mar. 2018. Shanghai American School Pudong Schoology, app.schoology.com/resources/group#/resources/school/655340397. Accessed 13 Mar. 2018.