Sunday, December 6, 2015

Maybe NYSED Got This One Right...

In an era where most educators and parents want to criticize everything, especially those that are decision makers, I have to say, I think NYSED got this one right!! On a daily basis I am finding adults that lack the essential 21st century skills that our decision makers feel our students must possess in order to be productive citizens in the future. In my opinion however, 21st century skills are "soft" in nature, difficult to measure, and not a traditional part of American high school curriculums. To tell you how many emails I receive a day that make me wonder if the adult on the other end has ever sat through an English class would be embarrassing. Electronic communication is a 21st century skill, but where is the education in regard to how to use it? Just because it's an email doesn't mean we have to forget the basic conventions of standard American English, does it? Can we not combine 2 skills into one here?

Typically, all of these "skills" as we are calling them have once upon a time been known as "attributes". You either possess the ability to do them or you don't. We have normally been afraid to try and teach an individual how to improve these skills because that would mean tough conversations and having to tell someone to their face that there is a deficit. But isn't that education? Don't we tell our students in one way or another every day that what they are doing isn't good enough? Shouldn't we expect the same of ourselves? After all, receiving that paper called a teaching certificate doesn't mean we are omnipotent, it means we are legally able to teach kids in a public school setting. Let's not forget that our responsibility to children is to facilitate learning, not dictate content. Our jobs become much more interesting and ironically, easier, if we allow our students to create their learning experiences collaboratively.

Black Knight Kudos ...

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Vex Robotics Tournament this weekend. It was a wonderful event and truly highlighted RFA's talents!!

Congratulations to all of our students who participated in the All-State Music Festival over the weekend!!

This Week at RFA...

12/7 - RFA Senior Pictures Due for Yearbook
12/7 - CEAL Field Trip to Gansevoort Elementary
12/7 - Boys (v) Basketball vs. CNS
12/8 - Rotary Interact Club Field Trip to Ft. Stanwix Men's Club
12/8 - Girls (v) Bowling vs. Camden
12/8 - Boys (v) Wrestling at Camden
12/8 - Girls (v) Volleyball vs. Thomas R Proctor
12/8 - Boys (v) Hockey at FM
12/9 - SMART Schools Investment Team Meeting
12/9 - Boys (v) Bowling at VVS
12/9 - Girls (v) Basketball vs. Camden
12/10 - Sophomore Seminar, 8th period - Legal Field
12/10 - Boys (v) Swimming vs. Holland Patent
12/10 - Girls (v) Volleyball at Camden
12/11 - Italian Club Dinner @ RFA, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
12/11 - Boys (v) Hockey vs. Corcoran
12/11- Indoor Track at Colgate University
12/11 - Boys (v) Bowling at Camden
12/11 - Girls (v) Basketball at Sherburn Earlville Tournament
12/11 - Boys (v) Wrestling at Poland Central
12/11 - Boys (v) Basketball at Camden
12/12 - Mathletics Competition at Whitesboro
12/12 - VEX Robotics Competition at Saratoga Springs
12/12 - Girls (v) Basketball at Sherburn Earlville Tournament
12/12 - Boys (v) Swimming at Indian River Invitational
Upcoming - 12/19 - RFA Travel Club Pancake Breakfast with Santa, 8:00 - 11:00 am

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

During the next few weeks, choose one of the four 21st century skills that you think you can improve upon easily and make an effort to grow. After a short period of time, assess yourself on your progress by collaborating with a colleague to seek true and honest feedback, Don't be afraid to be different and learn, it's what we do!!