Many people do not think of the educational system as a “customer” based entity, but at our school, Grapevine Faith Christian School, we do. As a provider of a high-quality private education, we really are in the business of providing a satisfactory experience for our customer: both the parent and the student. Both are asked to complete surveys on a regular basis that allows them to voice their concerns about areas they perceive we could improve and also to voice praise in those areas where we are being successful. Our parents complete a satisfaction survey every two years. This survey is professionally administered by an independent organization; the results are tallied and presented to our president and school board. These results are used in the implementation of new programs, the revamping of old programs, and a host of other uses that I can’t even being to imagine.
Our high school students complete an annual survey each spring for each of their classroom teachers. Usually there is some incentive for our students to complete the surveys…free daily grade, bonus points on a quiz or test…after all, today’s students aren’t going to take time to complete something that they feel isn’t going to directly benefit them. This survey is a little less formal, yet none the less professional. The students complete the survey anonymously, so they can feel free to be open and honest about what they are being asked. Of course, there are always those few students who look at the survey as an opportunity to really tear down some teachers, but for the most part, our students take the survey serious.
Like any other regular service provider, I work diligently to provide the best service I can to my customers. I don’t want them to feel like I am wasting their time. Call it a stewardship thing if you like. I Corinthians 4:2 says this: “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” I have been given a trust; our parents send their students to our school trusting that we will not only meet their immediate physical and educational needs, but also their students’ emotional and spiritual needs as well. That is such a heavy burden to carry; a burden I do not take lightly, because I believe whole heartedly that I have been called to my occupation as teacher. My Heavenly Father has placed me in my role for His glory, not my own. Let me make this clear…I do not work to please my customers…I work to please my Creator, my Sustainer, my Giver of all good things. The fact that my “customers” are satisfied along the way…well, that’s just the icing on the cake.
Don’t get me wrong, I do take the results of my student surveys very seriously. I work to provide a quality learning environment that affords me a platform on which to deliver my instruction…my “goods,” if you would allow me to call what I provide a commodity. It is this thought that I take my student survey results seriously, and brings me to this final thought: I don’t want to be a good teacher; I want to be an amazing teacher. I want to be a teacher that does more than deliver an engaging lesson that gets the students through another 45 minutes of their day. I want to be a teacher that inspires, that encourages, that models lifelong learning as a way of life; these are but a few of the many things I want to be for my students, my “customers.”