Two of education's predominant phrases for why students should be doing what they are doing in schools are: "It worked for me" and "because I said so". Obviously, if you read this regularly, you know that I am not a fan of either phrase as I encourage our staff and students to challenge the status quo every day. More importantly, in the wake of our regions second high school tragedy within the past month; I am really concerned about when we are going to become an institution of acceptance rather than an institution of compliance? A current topic that is all the rage is bullying. Over the past several years, our society as a whole has made an attempt to diminish and rid itself of bullying. 40, 50, 60 years ago; bullying was an accepted part of society and no one questioned it. It was a normal "rite of passage" in most communities throughout the world. The civil rights movement is another example. It should not require the murder of great civic leaders or teen suicide rates on the rise for the rest of the community to recognize that it's time to live in an age of acceptance, rather than compliance. Public education was developed over 100 years ago in a very compliance rich society and in an extremely compliance rich way. I would also argue that public education is the one profession that most closely resembles what it looked like 100 years ago, despite our standards being completely different, knowledge base being expanded, technology flourishing, and society shifting drastically. Have you ever thought to ask yourself if the way we used to do things was really the right way? Certainly, the way things were done in the past were not the best; hence the concept of evolution. Being better does not mean that the past was bad; it simply means it can be improved, evolved. The problem is not the kids. The problem is all of us adults that refuse to see that the world has changed around us and that the world our children ARE living in and WILL grow up in, is not the world that we knew. It most likely is not the world that we would prefer for our children either. However, attempting to make the world and society into something that once was 30 years ago is not the answer. The answer is acceptance. Accepting that society has evolved and we need work within that society is crucial. Even when adults use social media in an attempt to connect with our youth, the large majority of it has become sharing negative thoughts and feelings about topics and others (in essence, bullying). If we as adults can't learn to be the role models our kids need; we are dooming them to a lifetime of solitude. Our children need us to accept them for who they are and what THEY want out of life. So, if you can give only one gift this holiday season; I would ask that you give the gift of effort. Give the effort to try and understand someone, a lifestyle, a group, an activity; anything that you normally wouldn't agree with it. Accepting is not agreeing. Accepting is understanding that those that are different than ourselves have the right to live their life the way that they want to live it. Acceptance is understanding differences are normal and respecting differences without prejudice, hate, or violence. Our children need us more than ever as our whole society has evolved into a world where people are encouraged to question the norm, ask 'why' something is the way that it is, and told to change the world. We need to accept that our kids are going to someday, run our society. It's time we listen to their needs and attempt to understand what they are telling us. It may not make sense at first, but forced compliance only hurts our children. It's enough already. Time for compliance to become extinct, and the age of acceptance to be born!
RTA/RAE Holiday Drive
Thank You Rotary
This week, the Rome Rotary and the RFA Rotary Interact Club sponsored their annual Christmas celebration for elementary students. Complete with lunch, stories, caroling, crafts, and a gift bag; the Rotary truly demonstrates the spirit of the holiday season for our children. The experience is truly a wonderful one for both our elementary students and RFA students who participate. Thank you to the Rotary of Rome, as well as, to the students in the Rotary Interact Club for your time and generosity this week!
Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games, activities, individual coaching, and actual performances on the Capitol Stage. The program focuses on developing the students' own creativity, building self-confidence, improving reading comprehension and speaking ability, accepting responsibility, and teamwork. Students will learn stage movement, character development, how to audition, and a whole lot more! Skills developed will better prepare students to compete for roles in school plays and other local stage productions, as well as interacting with confidence during pageants, interviews for college or jobs, and in everyday dealings with teachers and peers. For the first time this winter, there are two options: the regular sessions and the advanced classes. For more information on either class, please see their flier on our peachjar: ADVANCED CLASSES or REGULAR CLASSES