Posts

Class of '22...

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 There is no doubt that the pandemic has had some kind of effect on everyone and every group. However, it can be argued that the Class of 2022 has been impacted more than any group of students during their high school experience. Yes, their ninth-grade year was what we would consider a traditional school year for these students, but is ninth grade really a normal year for kids? First-year of high school, new places, new people, new opportunities. There is not much about a kid's first year of high school that feels normal and simple. Then, for this group of students, little did anyone know that the next 3 years of their high school experience would be impacted in some way due to the pandemic. This group of students has had to spend the rest of their high school lives adapting, adjusting, and showing real-life skills that many adults are still trying to figure out. Between the sudden switch to remote learning that had never been done by any secondary school on a large scale basis bef

Is It Sense...

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If I had a nickel for every time I have had a conversation post-COVID where somehow the topic of common sense arose, I may have been able to retire and pay off college loans before the age of 30. It feels as if everywhere you turn, people are talking about a general lack of common sense existing in our society today. Common sense has always been tricky because it can mean something different to different people, but still, one should expect that there are general guidelines in society that you would hope we all learned throughout the course of growing up. The more this topic comes up, the more I reflect on it and then watch people's actions. Lately, I've begun to wonder, is it common sense that we have wandered off the path or is it common DECENCY? You can say that they are one and the same, but not totally. For example, not touching a hot stove burner or putting a paper clip in an outlet is common sense, but not common decency. However, holding the door for a stranger at the s

Don't Overthink It...

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This week I have decided to recycle an oldie but a goodie post and dedicate my blog to the game that I love and hate the most, golf!! Thanks to a recent outing with a colleague, I got my game into the best shape it's been in for years AND got this awesome idea for a blog post. While we spent the afternoon laughing, high-fiving for good shots, and talking to ourselves after poor shots, there was one constant about the game: Regardless of a good shot or bad shot, the mumbling was always, "Don't overthink it!" Almost everyone knows that sports, especially golf, are mentally grueling and the more you think while playing usually the worse the outcome. So why do we continue to overthink things? Is education any different right now in this time of uncertainty and change? Maybe, just maybe the adults don't always have the perfect answer because we overthink it, but collaboratively with our students, I know the right answers will be found. More than ever, our students have

Day of Remembrance...

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This is a time of year when we should all take a moment to pause, reflect, and remember all of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. As a society, we have unfortunately moved more and more deeply into a world of entitlement. Entitlement is not the concept that our fine nation was built; nor was it the intent of everyone that has come before us. Our ancestors (some of whom are still alive today to share their stories) believed in hard work, dedication to your task/role in the world, and commitment to your fellow Americans. These ideals are what made America great during the 20th century because regardless of your heritage, our country bonded together. Unfortunately, there seems to be a growing trend of what can I do to avoid working hard or taking responsibility or helping a neighbor/colleague simply because it's the right thing to do. We have lost sight, as a society, of the concept of brotherhood and sisterhood and that we are all

Opportunity Knocks...

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  Throughout life, we are constantly provided with opportunities. As adults, we are provided many opportunities, some that we create through our own initiative and hard work, others because of who we are or know, and others simply by happenchance. Regardless, an opportunity is one of the components that make up the American Dream. Our students in today's society also have opportunities. I think back to when I was in high school and I had 10% of the opportunities that our children in RFA have today. Whether it be in terms of access and opportunity to college-level coursework, opportunities to participate in curricular programs above the traditional program, the access and opportunities that students have through BOCES to the trades or our own engineering program, or the myriad of clubs and athletic opportunities that students have; the chance to find a sense of belonging and growth exists. And this only describes the high school level. More than ever, opportunities for student exper

Why, Why, Why...

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 Why? A simple word that means so much. It can be used in a negative connotation and in a positive way as motivation. It's a question and a statement of purpose. As teachers, we ask our students why all of the time. It's second nature to ask a student to explain their thoughts and push their thinking to go deeper. It's also used with colleagues to help understand one's point of view or clarify something if as adults we don't understand another's perspective. Perhaps the most important context of why is the purpose that we do something as a person. Why did we choose to work with children and in schools? Why do we consistently look for new ways to help students. Looking at this word, it's important that we don't forget our own personal "WHY" and we continue to inquire of each other when clarity is needed. When we question why certain practices exist, why policies are enacted the way they are enacted, and why decisions were made, the word is gener

Happy Mother's Day!!!

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 Happy Mother's Day to all of our Moms out there in the cyberverse!! It is nice to see the sun shining in upstate New York this year, unlike some of the random Mother's Day surprise snowfalls that we are known to get. Today is a day where we take a moment to recognize, remember, and honor those that are hopefully the most instrumental woman in our lives. There is no doubt that there is no job more precious, more special, and more important than being a parent, and specifically a mother. Without their guidance, love, and unconditional support it is difficult to imagine what life would be like. Moms are there in a moment of need to support and at times, provide the honest truth about a situation or event. When looking back at your childhood, hopefully, you can realize all of the sacrifices and stress that our mothers endured making sure that we had the best childhood that they could possibly provide. Regardless of your situation or background, moms have always given of themselves