Sunday, January 29, 2017

Grit or Grits...

One of the most recent hot topics in education today is the discussion about 'grit'. Unfortunately, I am not talking about the food 'grits' as some may wish; but instead talking about the most recent effort in education to define the word, 'grit'. As we know, grits are a popular food from the Southern United States which have spread throughout the country over the years. Or, as you may not know, Grits are also a political party from Canada. However, for the topic of this blog, I am referring to 'grit' from the psychological standpoint which is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual's passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective. In education, there is new research and trends claiming that our students are lacking grit in the educational setting. In fact, it is an emerging practice to provide opportunities for students to struggle with their work in the classroom with the belief that it develops a student's mind and patience, along with the desire to achieve. Over the years, our society has developed into an arena where everyone must be successful at everything. Even in sports, the concept of the participation trophy is debated yearly. In education, our students need to learn the concept of struggle, conflict, perseverance, patience, and success. Yes, some successes come easy and quickly. And yes, many successes come at the foot of hard work and perseverance. If we are continuously providing opportunities for our kids where success comes easily, then we are not providing a well rounded education. There is no exploration, critical thinking, or struggle with easy success. However, if everything we do in education is a struggle, leads to frustration and tears, or ends with students feeling unworthy; then we are defeating the very purpose of education. Like the grits from the South, consistency is everything. Our educational grit must be a perfect mix of challenges and rewards, opportunities and successes, struggles and achievements. If the grit is mushy: bad news. If the grit is too thick: Goldilocks still won't eat it. But, if the grit is just right... learning will occur!! Let's make the perfect grits...

American Heart Association 

On Saturday, February 25th, from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, the American Heart Association will be hosting their 15th annual walk/run event at Rome Free Academy. The indoor walk also includes an outdoor run! Besides the walk/run, they will be holding a Heath Expo and several “Sydney’s Circle” events taking place in the gym. Along with this, Friday, February 3rd is national 'Wear Red' day. Wear Red day is sponsored by the American Heart Association as an awareness to heart disease and strokes in women throughout our nation. The American Heart Association has been very active in the Mohawk Valley and in Rome, providing support for many many people over the years. Let's get behind this fantastic cause and show our support. For more information or to register your team for the walk/run, please visit  

RFA Girls Indoor Track

Following an impressive and standard setting 2015-2016 season, the 2016-2017 RFA girls indoor track team has decided to raise the bar!! In recent weeks, the team has continued to create their historic season with one of the relay teams setting a new Tri-Valley League record as well as breaking a 22-year old RFA record in the 3200 meter relay event. During the course of the season, the team has broken 7 Tri-Valley League or RFA records. As the season draws to a close, take a chance to get out and see these ladies!!

Block 'R' Club Cereal Fundraiser

Just a reminder that from now until winter recess in February, the Block 'R' Club from RFA will be accepting donations of boxes of cereal at all athletic home games. This similar fundraiser in just a week's time last December brought in over 150 boxes of cereal for people in need over the holiday recess. In the coming weeks, please bring a box of cereal to home athletic contests in support of the Block 'R' Club.