Time spent in classrooms a highlight for superintendent

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a superintendent is spending time in class with students. Last week, I visited a kindergarten classroom at Cedar Creek Community School. I was scheduled to meet with staff members, but the host instructor offered me the opportunity to arrive early and read to her students. I was excited and jumped at the chance to share. What she hadn’t told me earlier was, “After recess, we need to get our bodies ready to listen.”

That sounded harmless enough. As she turned and pushed the button on the CD player, I knew I was about to be involved in some sort of motor learning activity. Did I participate? Indeed I did. With a collection of new learners on hand, I certainly wasn’t going to be the one person in class who didn’t follow directions.

I wiggled my eyebrows, I wiggled my nose, my chin, my ears and on and on. I’m sure some of the students thought a man in a suit acting just like them was entertaining. I must admit, I agreed. So, when everyone’s body was ready to listen, I read the book I had brought along: “Giggle, Giggle, Quack.” It’s a fun book. I was even able to share an animal sound or two. We were truly back at school.

It seems like only a few days ago when we heard the words back to school. It is hard to believe the school and community are already in the middle of our Homecoming week of celebration. Students, siblings, parents and community members have dedicated themselves to displaying school spirt in a positive way.

Our St. Francis Hall of Fame committee has honored more of our outstanding alumni and reunited them with the community they so proudly represented. Our 1977 football players will return, with great pride, to celebrate their accomplishments. The energy they shared will be on display once again: three decades plus after their memorable season. Welcome home, Saints. We’re glad you’re back.

All of this excitement ushers in the month of October and reminds us of how rapidly time passes. Next week, our teachers will be looking forward to meeting with parents to discuss the progress of our students. Conferences already? Indeed. The conversations will revolve around achievement and how working together will yield increased academic growth.

When you visit our classrooms, you may be excited by the cutting-edge technology that has been implemented across the system. This influx of technology will enhance student engagement and expose our students, at every level, to the unlimited opportunities on the horizon. SMART boards, iPads, interactive websites and devices for exploration are all available in varying degrees. These tools will prepare students for the tomorrow that lies ahead. We are excited to open numerous doors of opportunity to the students and families we serve.

Teachers look forward to visiting with parents about progress being made and progress about to be made. Are we, as educators, optimistic? Of course, that quality is in our nature. We want to help our students and increase their desire to excel. That is why parents are so important. Working together is always a better way to service the students in our classrooms.

Working and sharing is a positive learning activity. I received two electronic post cards last week, sent to me by Brayden and Max. They were engaging and informative – I learned about meal worms.

Why do these cards seem like a big deal? Consider the fact that these two students designed the post cards on an iPad, sent them electronically to the superintendent of schools and are only one month into their second-grade experience. It’s a whole new world.

As we celebrate Homecoming week, we welcome our alumni. If you have the opportunity, please visit our schools and witness how our current Saints are busy shaping tomorrow.

Ed Saxton is the superintendent for the St. Francis Independent School District 15.

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