One of my favorite bands of all-time is (or was, as I don't think they're still together) Hootie and the Blowfish. Hootie's was the first rock concert I ever attended. I have all of their albums. I even have Darius Rucker's solo rhythm and blues attempt, which was solo in another way, too- it was his only one.
But, to remain relevant, Darius Rucker evolved. Taking a risk, Darius launched a country music career in 2008. For those of you who don't know, Darius Rucker is African-American. Furthermore, very few African-Americans have vertured into the world of country music; even fewer have found success there. Prior to Darius reaching #1 on the country charts in September of 2008, the last African-American to accomplish this feat was Charley Pride in 1983, 25 years before. Growing up in South Carolina, Darius was no stranger to country music. A singer with a soulful voice, his evolution into country music was not as far of a leap as some may think. But, it was definitely a leap, and one that enabled Darius Rucker to remain "bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand" (from Dictionary.com). Hootie and the Blowfish is no longer relevant. Darius Rucker is.
As Catholic Educators, are we connected with the matter in hand? Do we have direct bearing upon what is pertinent, important, timely? Have we appropriately evolved? Or, do we still teach, solely, from behind a podium? Do we punish entire classes for the misdeeds of a small few? Are we autocratic or authoritative? Are we educating students for success in our world or theirs? Is our educational approach relevant?
As Catholic Educators, the beauty of the message of the Gospel is that it is timeless. It is always relevant, always pertinent. Our Catholic Church is a wonderful example of staying relevant while still maintaining a rich tradition. Its roots continue to get deeper so that its branches can continue to grow taller. The Vatican has a YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/vatican. The Pope even has a Twitter account, "tweeting" on February 8: "I invite Christians, with an informed & responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible" (from http://twitter.com/#!/PopeBenedictXIV). On November 27, the American Church will put to use the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, harkening to a more direct translation between the prayers used during the Celebration of the Eucharist and the Scripture upon which they are based. The Catholic Church is staying relevant while maintaining its firm foundation.
As Catholic Schools we must use our creativity to stay relevant. We must enlist the help of our parents, corporations and businesses. We must find ways to use state and federal money to our advantage. We must capitalize on scholarship money and grants. We must seek out the most up to date research on planning, instruction and assessment and weave it into our style of teaching. We must market. We must plan. We must teach in such a way that the Catholic Church remains relevant for another 2,000 years. We must be better than the educational offerings at public, private or even other denominational schools. We must evangelize.
Every aspect of our schools must show the relevance between the subject matters we teach and the only Subject that really matters- Jesus.
Every aspect including our blogs...