By Dr. Rod Rock
Everyone in community are teachers, learners
November 03, 2010 - I'm Rod Rock, the superintendent of the Clarkston Community Schools. I am exceedingly excited, along with my 1,200 educational colleagues, to serve the 8,200 students in our 12 schools.
Thank you for welcoming me to your outstanding community. If I haven't already, I look forward to meeting you, very soon.
Raised in Michigan's Thumb, my family of artisans, entrepreneurs, and laborers showed me how live—passionately pursue possibilities, willingly listen and learn, take time to attend and notice, and work hard.
My father, who labored for 30 years at GM in Flint (and worked on the weekends and evenings as a photographer), and my mother, who continues her entrepreneurial spirit to this day, created a very nice life for my older sister and me—through hard work, quality time together, and by living according to their values.
As a father, husband, and educator, I appreciate, every day, the lessons I learned from my parents, and the faithful support of my wife and daughters. I treasure, admire, and love them. As I embark on this new chapter in my life, I hold fast to three specific ideals:
1. Learning is a consequence of thinking (Perkins, 2002).
2. Children grow into the intellectual lives around them (Vygotsky, 1978).
3. We—as citizens and educators—are collectively responsible for who our students become as a result of the 13+ years spent in our schools (Ritchhart, 2002).
Your children are my children. Your hopes and dreams for them are my hopes and dreams for them.
I'm confident that, together—and despite the economic challenges we face—we will prepare each of our children for whatever eventualities they encounter.
Not only is this a politically correct statement to make in my first newspaper column in Clarkston, but a quintessential imperative for our collective future. Put simply, nothing less will do.
The coalescence of globalization, the digital revolution, and mind/brain research make this a generative time to live and learn. The decisions we make each day have a lasting impact on who our children become. In both the private and public sectors, entities that embrace, pursue, and advance these possibilities will lead the way, offering unprecedented learning and living opportunities for students and citizens.
This is the reason I became your superintendent. The potential is bounded only by the self-imposed limits of our imagination, will, action, and vision.
As the lead learner of the Clarkston Community Schools, I am responsible for the culture of thinking and learning in which our students engage, the capacity of our teachers to teach, and the vision of our lead learners to lead.
Without hesitation, I cannot wait to engage, teach, and lead with you, each day. I will see you in our hallways, classrooms, parking lots, auditoriums, places of worship, businesses, and on our playing fields Go Wolves!
... Before I end, I have one request. Please view this video – "Namaste: One Teen's Look at Nepal," www.youtube.com – and let me know how the ideas presented herein Connect, Extend, and Challenge your thinking. This is a Thinking Routine from the Visible Thinking Website – www.pz.harvard.edu/vt/visibleThinking_html_files/VisibleThinking1.html.
I'm really interested in learning with and from your perspective and experience.
Share your thoughts with Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock, using the terms connect, extend, and challenge, at firstname.lastname@example.org.