Prior to the 2019-20 school year, RCS school administrators and teachers met to plan, discuss and collaborate in preparation for the academic year. As part of the orientation process, RCS staff participated in seminars and workshops geared toward developing and understanding what students encounter in today’s classroom.
The first speaker, Erin Fox, was a former teacher equipped with 13 years of dedicated service in special education. Her presentation touched upon identifying issues facing students and working closely with individuals to alleviate issues, such as stress. She also addressed challenges that exist in our society, school systems, and educational policies. She used storytelling and a wide range of emotions to convey her message. She sought to inspire RCS staff to innovate their teaching practices through multiple perspectives based on her writing and professional development experiences.
In addition, the afternoon speaker introduced a critical perspective that impacts educators as they prepare the next generation of leaders into our communities. Mr. Damonni Farley, of Schenectady-based Common Thread Consultants, addressed RCS staff regarding the safety of students in today’s classroom. Topics addressed included: How are children recognizing they are safe in your classroom? How do they view your effort to allow them to be safe enough to learn new information? What language is used to make them feel comfortable?
Mr. Farley reviewed a number of examples and used his experience in education to follow issues that range from educational status to behavioral issues. Educators were also faced with topical questions and content related to building connections with students and understanding who they are as a person, while learning to build early connections without knowing them as individuals.
The RCS school district would like to thank the community speakers that offered their services to engage and inform our teacher’s in a unique and thoughtful way.