Sunday, April 3, 2016

Agents of Change...

Continuing some of last week's thoughts on educational grit, I wanted to write a bit about being agents of change in our educational institutions. On a daily basis I have conversations with people about climate, culture, and basically the "good old days" when teaching and learning were done at the discretion of the professionals and not guided by verbose curriculums and exams. I am a believer that the current world of education and the past world of education can live in harmony. Yes there are more and more mandates coming down from many places, but the mandates have never told us exactly what and how to teach. They are more or less a set of goals and desires for our students. We all want the same thing for our kids, the difference is who is setting the goals. I say, regardless of what we are "required" to do, we still control our own destiny with a little bit of grit.

Playing the new game is a challenge and it takes some brutal honesty, courage, trust, and teamwork to get our schools back to feeling like they are free of verbose mandates and expectations. We all want kids to graduate, learn, and become productive citizens of our society. More and more we are hearing that college isn't for every student and more and more students are stating that they prefer to enter the work force in a trade rather than attend college. Sound like Back to the Future or what? But how do we make it happen? Educational grit; the ability to work together, develop a common goal, and be willing to re-learn some of our old habits that just don't work within a new system. Remember, being an agent of change is not about dismissing the past or believing that what was done before was wrong; it's about being better and more efficient than ever before. If we can keep that in mind, we can all be the change that we desire in our schools. After all, we always encourage our students to pursue whatever they want in life, right? So when did we stop believing that we had control over our own destiny's as well? Be the change that you want to see...

Black Knight Kudos ...

Congratulations to RFA athletes Tekitha Posey-Barry, Brad Dougherty, and Ryan Swavely for being named to the All-CNY Indoor Track Team!!

"PAIR"ents Partnership ...

Spring time is always the most challenging time of year for schools, students, and parents. The "senioritis" takes hold with a lot of students preparing to graduate, and the sunshine and green grass out the window causes many others to pump the brakes a little bit. I encourage you to help us stress the importance of school attendance and punctuality with our students. Attendance and punctuality at school is the number one indicator of academic success. It's not rocket science to understand that more learning and productivity takes place when we are present at our jobs/school. If you are experiencing challenges with your child regarding their desire to attend school, please contact your child's counselor or administrator sooner than later (if discussions haven't already begun). Together we can work to solve the attendance riddle.

This Week at RFA...

4/4 - Boys (v) Tennis vs. Central Valley Academy
4/4 - Boys (v) Golf vs. Central Valley Academy
4/4 - Girls (v) Golf at Central Valley Academy
4/4 - Girls (v) Softball vs. West Genesee
4/4 - Girls (v) Lacrosse vs. Clinton
4/5 - Educational Policy Committee Meeting
4/5 - Key Club Meeting
4/5 - Boys (v) Tennis at Proctor
4/6 - STASS Meeting
4/6 - Mock Trial Field Trip to Utica Courthouse
4/6 - Girls (v) Golf vs. Proctor
4/6 - Boys (v) Lacrosse at New Hartford
4/7 - Career Seminar
4/7 - Girls (v) Softball vs. CNS
4/7 - Boys (v) Baseball at Whiteboro
4/7 - Boys (v) Lacrosse vs. Notre Dame
4/8 -Travel Club Meeting
4/8 - RFA Dugout Club Pasta Dinner
4/8 - Girls (v) Golf at Notre Dame
4/8 - Boys (v) Golf vs. Notre Dame
4/8 - Boys (v) Track & Field vs. Camden
4/8 - Girls (v) Track & Field at Camden
4/9 - Rome Dollars for Scholars Run/Walk
4/9 - ACT Examination
4/9 - Boys (v) Baseball at South Lewis Central
4/9 - Boys (v) Lacrosse vs. Central Square
4/9 - Girls (v) Softball at Oswego

Worth the Read...

Take a Moment to Self Reflect and Grow...

This week's message is very simple, don't be afraid to ask for help. We encourage our kids to do it every day and we need to be honest with ourselves if we are to grow into the change we desire in public schools. Kids are not what they used to be, they array of differences is greater than ever. We can't pretend that a one-size fits all model of education will work anymore. Challenge yourself to grow and expand outside your comfort zone.