I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season
with family and friends. The beginning
of the new year is always a great time to contemplate our growth and progress
in endeavors that are important to us, and to refocus our attention on our most
significant goals and priorities. As we
begin 2018, I would suggest that we contemplate the many ways that the
experiences that we have in various compartments of our daily lives can help to
positively shape other aspects of our life.
A perfect example of this are the lessons learned from participation in
sports and athletic competition. We
often hear about the value of teamwork, sportsmanship and a host of other
benefits of participation in athletics.
One benefit that cannot be overlooked is the value of learning to be
comfortable being uncomfortable. Sports
participation teaches us that to get better, we have to push beyond our current
boundaries. Without pushing beyond our
comfort zone, improvement doesn’t occur, or at least not at the necessary pace
to be successful. In any athletic
pursuit, intentionally reaching beyond our comfort zone in a planned and
responsible fashion is the key ingredient in recipe for improvement.
The lessons learned from pushing beyond our comfort zone
certainly can apply to how we view the educational process as well. If we are feeling completely comfortable, it
may be because we’ve taken the easiest path as opposed to the more rewarding
path - we may need to think about challenging ourselves to a greater degree to
maintain positive momentum. After all,
most people do not look back at their life experiences and say, “I wish I
didn’t set the bar so high” – regret usually results from selling ourselves
short from realizing our full potential.
Focused and intentional discomfort is therefore something that we should
not avoid, but actually embrace.
In an attempt to stretch out of our comfort zone, Oxford
Academy and Central School with be hosting an internationally recognized
academic competition in 2018. Mark your calendar
because RoboRave, an international robotics competition, will be held in Oxford
on April 7, 2018. This is our school’s attempt
to stretch beyond the typical and reach for something extraordinary. Not only is RoboRave an internationally
renowned robotics competition, but it presents a unique opportunity for the
school community. As an official
RoboRave competition site, we are the only school that can host the competition
in the entire state of New York. That’s
right, if you live in New York City, you have to come to Oxford to compete in
Not only does RoboRave provide our students the opportunity
to test their knowledge and skills in the context of a team competition, it
allows them to compete against teams from around the state, county and even the
world. One of the many terrific aspects
of the competition is that it encourages curiosity, learning and teamwork from
students and adults (we will have multiple teams from the primary, middle and
high schools competing). Teams will be competing
from age 8 to adult. In fact, multiple
businesses from our region have entered teams consisting of adults, and many
more will likely do so. If you are
looking for a challenge, check out our website and consider competing in Oxford
In order to make the event truly special, in the coming
weeks we will be announcing several events that will be happening leading up to
the competition on April 7th.
It’s safe to say that Oxford will be the place to be this April! I look forward to updating you as we progress
through RoboRave and many other initiatives currently underway. I’ve always believed that creating high
expectations is a key component of success.
By challenging everyone in our community, students and adults, to step
out of their comfort zone at events like RoboRave, we ensure that we keep the
bar high when it comes to expectations. As
always, the best is yet to come.