Lakeside is about educating the whole child

By Josh Beavers

Carrie Woodard is an educator. And while she is charged with teaching her students a traditional curriculum, she also knows that it takes more than facts and figures to educate the whole child.

On Monday, as part of her first block class, Woodard taught a lesson on trust.

“We made an obstacle course in order to teach trust between each other,” she told The Journal. “One student was blindfolded and the other gave directions. Then they had to trust their guide.”

The short part of class was one of many life lessons Lakeside teachers share in addition to Tier 1 curriculum.

“I want students to understand that trust is an essential ingredient in meaningful and lasting relationships as well as school and career success,” Woodard told The Journal. “Trust is essential to all personal relationships. If you build trust with your students they are more willing to engage in things that you would like them to.”

Lakeside Principal Denny Finley said teachers like Mrs. Woodard and the lessons they impart are what makes the small school in South Webster special.

“The number one focus for all schools in America is to academically prepare students for the future. To prepare them for college or the workforce, whichever they might choose,” he said. “Our mission at Lakeside is to improve the whole student to ensure that they are successful when they leave our campus.”

Finley said the Lakeside staff as a whole has always been heavily invested in the lives of the students.

“A couple of years ago, I purchased each teacher a copy of Stephen R. Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he told us. “We built minutes into the day, and every adult worked with a group of students on how to be successful.”

Those Habits:
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin With The End In Mind
3. Put First Things First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood
6. Synergize
7. Sharpen the Saw

“We would work on each habit for several weeks before moving forward,” Finley said. “Discipline at Lakeside has never been a big problem, but it improved after the book study. Students were able to see teachers in a new role and not just in front of the class teaching. Teachers were showing them how to be a better student, person, and eventually a better adult.”

Life lessons. Lakeside. Two things that go hand in hand at the small school in the one stoplight town at the bottom of Webster Parish. Great things come in small packages. Lakeside is proof of that.