Sunday, March 5, 2017

Twice the Effort...

One of the most recent educational phenomenons and/or "hot topics" has been centered around the concept of 'grit', which I have written about in the past. I am particularly interested in this topic because since the term 'grit' started showing up in educational circles around the inception of the Common Core, I have become concerned that the thought of perseverance may get the same negative spin that the Common Core got. Ironically, the concept of grit and perseverance continues to struggle with breaking into the mainstream educational conversation. Recently, I have been reading and studying the concept, as well as what traits or behaviors tend to produce better citizens, students, and leaders. Maybe not ironically, while many people believe that natural ability and instincts is what makes a top notch person in their field, the concept of grit/perseverance may have a larger effect than most would believe. Having a greater will to succeed and an increased emphasis on effort, has twice the effect on future success than talent, intelligence, and pure natural ability. How does this relate to school? Well, it is my belief that often our students don't see the value in effort. Often, they want to give up because they see their peers finding success at a quicker rate. And, unfortunately, some teachers can have the ability to give up on themselves and students if things don't come easily. When a lesson fails (either for the teacher or the student), are we asking ourselves "why" enough to be able to make necessary adjustments to ensure learning. Do we give up because it's easier than re-doing something? No!! We give up because it's easier than asking the question, "WHY"? It's tough to ask "why" because often times we don't like the answer and/or the answer takes effort to be found. Our children need us to ask "why" and we need them to ask us "why"? Education is changing my friends, and if we don't move away from the concept that our jobs are to insert a bunch of data and facts into a child's brain, then our profession will become obsolete. People have more information at their fingertips than ever, and our new job is to produce thinkers and problem solvers that have the perseverance to succeed through struggle. Teaching the concept of effort is more important than teaching the facts of content. Don't miss the movement, be a trailblazer, and take those risks to ensure that kids learn how to think and challenge conventional thinking. Create students that have that grit and embrace the struggle. Our future selves will thank you for it. It may require more effort than your traditional facts, but twice the effort produces results beyond your imagination!

Dollars for Scholars 

Our local chapter of Dollars for Scholars is hosting their annual 5k run/walk on Saturday, March 25, 2017. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Griffiss Business and Technology park, with the event beginning at 8:30 a.m. for walkers and 9:00 a.m. for runners. Race day registration fees are $25 and early registration fees are $20. Student participant fees are $15. For anyone interested in participating, pre-registration can be completed at

Art Abound

This time of year brings with it a myriad of opportunities to view our student and staff art work. Currently, at the Willett Center there is an art show that opened up this past week available for public to view. In the coming week, there is another art show opening on Wednesday, March 8, at the Rome Art and Community Center (3:30 p.m.) which is accompanied by a regional art show that is currently running at the Artistree Studios and Gallery and is a presentation of teacher work from around the region. Take a moment to go visit and see some of the wonderful art that our students and teachers are creating!!

After School Job Openings

Safe Schools Mohawk Valley (formerly Utica Safe Schools) is looking for After-School Program staff to work with school- aged students (grades K-8) at Bellamy Elementary in Rome and Strough Middle School in Rome. The positions are 15 hours a week during the afternoons from 3:00-6:00PM or 2:00-5:00PM, depending on location. You MUST be available to work those hours; reliable transportation a must. Posting will remain open until all positions are filled (14 positions available). Rate of pay $10/hr. Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check per New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Job responsibilities include:
- Responsible for safety and supervision of a group of 10-15 youth.
- Work with supervisor in planning and implementation of programming.
- Assist students in homework, escort students to clubs and groups.
- Facilitate group activities.
- Complete required paperwork and training.

Skills / Requirements:
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- High school diploma or equivalent required.
- Previous experience with diverse populations a plus.
- Experience working with and supervising children (does not need to be formal).

- Skills that can be brought to the program a plus (dance, art, music, etc)

If you are interested, please email cover letter and resume to
Employment application can be downloaded at