Monday, January 11, 2016

Are You THAT Teacher...

Recently, I had the opportunity to do a needs assessment survey with my staff which is always an eye opening experience. One of my favorite questions to ask my staff in these surveys is, "What do you remember about your LEAST favorite teacher in school?" Not ironically, the responses were a perfect list of everything that you are asked NOT to do when sitting in professional developments. Also, each time I've done this type of survey, regardless of the staff or school, the responses are the same. When we were students, we didn't enjoy lecture, sarcasm, rigidity, worksheets, playing favorites, bias, and inconsistency. However, fast forward to today and how many classrooms can you think of where these same characteristics can be found?

So, I ask you, are you THAT teacher? When you think about the things that you enjoyed least about school, are you doing anything on that list? Or when you see the items that I listed previously, do you do any of those activities in your classroom that could make you THAT teacher? The reality is, we are all THAT teacher. Unfortunately, there is no perfect recipe for running a classroom where you are every student's favorite teacher. Regardless of how hard we try, there will always be a student who doesn't care for our style or approach. As professionals though, those are the students that we need to listen to the most. This is not to say that we need to change who we are as educators to cater to one individual who may be disengaged, but listening to what may help get them engaged is the minimum that we owe that child. In the end, you may end up adding a trick or two to your bag of instructional practices that could help more than just that one kid. The moral of it all, our students can help us become better professionals if we have the courage to seek honest feedback. Don't be THAT teacher, if you can avoid it.

Black Knight Kudos ...

Congratulations to Sydnei Ward for being accepted into the Mohawk Valley Community College's Young Entrepreneurs Academy!

Congratulations to Moriah Humiston who broke the RFA 1500 meter indoor track school record with a time of 5:04.95. The previous record was set in 1987.

This Week at RFA...

1/11 - Parent Ads due for the Yearbook
1/11 - District Parent Advisory Council Meeting
1/11 - Boys (v) Basketball vs, Corcoran
1/12 - Boys (v) Wrestling vs. Morrisville-Eaton
1/12 - Girls (v) Volleyball vs. Oneida
1/12 - Boys (v) Hockey at Baldwinsville
1/13 - Music Field Trip to Proctor
1/13 - District Leadership Meeting
1/13 - Boys (v) Swimming vs. Cooperstown
1/14 - RFA Teacher Coordinators Meeting
1/14 - Girls (v) Bowling vs. VVS
1/14 - Boys (v) Bowling vs. VVS
1/14 - Girls (v) Volleyball vs. Camden
1/15 - Congressional Forum Field Trip - Social Studies
1/15 - Boys (v) Hockey vs. Liverpool
1/15 - Girls (v) Basketball at Oneida
1/15 - Boys (v) Basketball vs. Oneida
1/16 - College Goal NY
1/16 - Rhapsody Performance - RFA
1/16 - Boys (v) Wrestling - CNY Tournament at VVS
1/16 - Boys (v) Swimming Diving Championships

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

Take a risk in the coming weeks in your classroom as the semester comes to a close. Survey your students and seek some honest feedback from your students about how the first semester went. After the survey is complete, take your students' responses to heart and see if there are any trends that you can easily adjust and improve upon to ensure that your students' experience in the second half of the year is better than the first half. After all, doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results is.... crazy?!