Sunday, February 21, 2016

Seek to Understand...

I often wonder as I am observing teachers, or students, or people watching at the mall, "What does a snap shot observation/evaluation of this individual/situation really mean?" Is there ANY value in a one time observation? The public education system has been built on evaluations and meeting criteria. Those of us that have spent our lives in education and dedicated ourselves to helping our societies improve make judgments about situations and people daily. But is that fair? Does achieving a '65' on a single exam really tell us anything about whether or not a student is prepared for the next challenge? Or walking into a classroom to observe a teacher in action for 40 minutes once a semester, are we really able to determine if the teacher is productive or not?

Many would say no, and I would as well at times. But, I believe that if we ask the right questions following an evaluation, then a 1 time snap shot can prove valuable. Instead of damning an individual or making a negative judgement about someone/something based on a quick encounter, have a conversation with the person to determine what was really happening. Communication is the key to all success within an institution. I love that quote, "Seek first to understand and then to be understood." Often times, we always think the negative about everything as opposed to seeking to understand the event/individual. Our evaluation systems can be VERY effective if we learn to communicate, ask questions, and genuinely want to improve our educational environment. We owe to our students and their futures to teach them how to communicate and accept constructive feedback. So, next time you find yourself making a judgement about someone or something you don't understand or don't know about, seek first to understand WHY the situation is the way it is, before developing your opinion.

Black Knight Kudos ...

Thank you to all of our community members who participated in this past weekend's American Heart Association walk at RFA!!

Congratulations to all of our winter season athletes and teams for all of their accomplishments. Thank you for representing RFA well!!

"PAIR"ents Partnership ...

Welcome to the newest section of my blog. Based on feedback from our community, the parents would like to be more informed about our building and their children, who blames them!! So, moving forward I will be incorporating some info here for our "pair"ents as I am coining this partnership. If you are a parent of an RFA student and have specific requests of things that would help parents collaborate with the high school, please send me a message or call. Building a strong school to home network is a leading indicator in the success of students at all ages, not just elementary school. Increasing our lines of communication and decreasing the barriers to student achievement is vital. We all have the same goal for our children, let's work together to achieve this goal!! 

This Week at RFA...

2/22 - Heat of Fusion
2/23 - Boys and Girls (V) Bowling Sectionals at Fulton
2/23 - Heat of Fusion
2/23 - District Attendance Committee
2/23 - RFA Discipline and Attendance Meeting
2/23 - 8th Grade Parent Night at RFA
2/24 - PSAT Administration
2/24 - DTSDE State Review
2/24 - Heat of Fusion
2/25 - DTSDE State Review
2/25 - Heat of Fusion
2/26 - DTSDE State Review
2/26 - Heat of Fusion
2/26 - Mr. RFA Pageant
2/27 - VEX Robotics Competition at Oswego
2/27 - Winterguard Competition at Mohonasen

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

During the coming weeks, take the opportunity to ask questions of others to help grow your knowledge of them and the situation you find yourself in. Before you trust the 'rumor' you hear or make a judgement about something you don't have an understanding of, seek to understand. You will find that more often than not we are missing vital information related to our circumstances. Having the right information allows us to have better dialogue to move things in the right direction.