11/13/2017

College Online: New Game, Old Skills


“Too much email, Ustaz – I don’t have time!” It’s a frequent complaint in our hallways today. Between IB, testing, and after school activities, it’s no wonder that the massive amount of online communication expected from our world’s 15,000 colleges is overwhelming.

At first it might seem like only the most digital-savvy candidates can summit this mountain. But when I hear students complain about email or ask about college websites, it reminds me of similar conversations I’ve had over the past 10 years organizing thick math binders or looking for scientific evidence. These complaints have far less to do with online expectations, and far more to do with our students’ fundamental organization, communication, and research skills.

To put it simply: today’s seniors expect the college application process to be as easy as scrolling through social media, when in fact it requires incredible research and communication skills to find the best college fit.  We – parents, staff, and advocates – must hold the same high expectations we have for subject-related assignments to student email responses and college research.

For my office, students are responsible for their own college lists and communication.  Each school option has a unique set of characteristics – location, culture, scholarship availability, etc. – and pathways to enter post-secondary education are endless. My office is a great place to start the climb, but in the end, that “congratulations” letter in the Spring is built on lots of individual research and many emails in the Fall.
       
As more students than ever apply during early deadlines, some students are already receiving admissions and scholarships! For seniors, expect online communication to increase into the winter months. It’s a tough mountain to climb, but the view from the top is extraordinary. For everyone else, now is the time to clean out that inbox and reach out to every college resource you can find...online.  

Chris Akel, College Counselor and TOK Teacher

10/16/2017

Teaching Drama at the RFS!



When you start teaching your students to learn how to push beyond their boundaries, you then smile to yourself and say, “I did it!”

Being a teacher for more than twenty years gave me an insight into what the students’ desire and need the most. Though I have always taught English Language and Literature, I always believed deep inside that I should be adding more to the grammar and fiction until I started applying Drama in education and training theater skills. Though Drama and Theater are two different fields, I can only say that they both made all the difference I wanted for my students at the Upper Campus in the RFS.

Drama and Theater are two practices that introduce the students into a world of stories, where each one becomes a researcher of who we are as human beings. At the time when Drama introduces the students to a wide range number of role-play activities inside the classrooms, the theater prepares them to deliver their ideas on the stage and in front of an audience. Academically, the students will expand their vocabulary and become better writers and presenters in their Language classes. They will expand their cultural awareness and start appreciating history and philosophy in their Social Studies class. And they will definitely start questioning and exploring new ideas in their Math and Science classes. On the personal level, the students learn how to communicate with others, work as team, build their self esteem, access emotions, along with understanding and interpreting information, and learn how to start showing positive energy.

I am forever thankful that I work in a school, which encourages me to go further in teaching the students through Drama and Theater how to think outside the box and develop higher order thinking skills so that they can be open minded and creative thinkers, who are ready to be future leaders. As a drama teacher, I invite all teachers no matter what they teach to start using Drama in their classrooms and enjoy the progress they can achieve on daily basis. I think it’s about time we, as teachers, start thinking of the educational process as a journey where our students can explore new learning approaches themselves at the time when we keep on challenging ourselves to help all students learn how to push beyond their boundaries.

Samah Hussein/ Drama teacher and theater trainer

8/12/2017

Introducing the Ramallah Friends School Community Blog 
By: Besan Omary-Jaawan - Development and Communications Associate

As summer vacation in Palestine comes to an end, our campus is bustling with busy teachers, administrative staff, maintenance workers, gardeners, and engineers all working hard to get our classrooms and grounds ready for more than 1,400 students to come back to school on Monday August 21st.

Our new Head of School, Adrian Moody, arrived from New Zealand earlier this month – view our new Head of School’s welcoming message here.

As we near Monday 21st, I am excited and anxious to start my 2nd year as an employee at the RFS, my 5th year as RFS parent, and my 16th year as a proud RFS alumna…

The RFS Community Blog is a communication space for all of us. All of you are invited to write and share your thoughts as parents, staff, teachers, students and alumni.

You are welcome to write about anything… You can write about academics, school life, grade transition, Quaker values at the RFS, student-teacher relations, parental fears, IB,  anything at all!

The mission of this blog is to engage all members of the RFS community and provide open and constructive conversation between students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and alumni.

How does it work?
Just send me your inquiries or blog posts at   bjaawan@rfs.edu.ps
See you all on Monday