The Norman Transcript

November 23, 2013

Kids celebrate Education Week

Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The whole class played recorders and music joyously filled the room and traveled down the hall. Next came a chorus of voices singing, “Open our minds to joys that are new. Open our hearts to what we must do.”

Mrs. Thomas’ music class pulled out all the stops for State Sen. Rob Standrige, R-Norman, during his visit to Roosevelt Elementary School Friday morning. As part of American Education Week, Norman Public Schools invited state legislatures into their classrooms to observe and see the hard work Norman educators and students are up to. Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, visited Truman Primary; Rep. Aaron Stiles, R-Norman, visited Irving Middle School; and Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, visited McKinley Elementary.

American Education Week, sponsored by the National Education Association, was started in the 1920s to inform the public of the accomplishments and needs of public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public. A week-long celebration, each day of the week had a specific focus. Tuesday was Parents Day, and schools were encouraged to invite parents into their classrooms to see exactly what a child’s day is like and motivate more parent involvement. Wednesday was Education Support Professionals Day, which honored school employees who help schools run smoothly and students succeed in school. Thursday was Educator for a Day, in which community members could serve as an educator, such as teaching a class, monitoring recess or helping in the cafeteria. Friday was Substitute Educators Day that celebrated substitute educators.

After watching Roosevelt students sing “Season of Hope,” learn about piñatas and Hanukkah and practice for their upcoming Christmas program, Standridge said he was impressed.

“I can see some kids are really going to love music,” he said.

Roosevelt Elementary Principal Tiffany Dixon said she hoped Standridge could see the school celebrates its students diversity.

“Hopefully we showed that we really try to play to our students’ strengths,” Dixon said.

Standridge said he wanted to come visit Roosevelt during American Education Week, so he would have first-hand experience in the classroom and could understand those who come to him with concerns about education.

“It’s been great to see how hard our teachers are working,” Standridge said. “After this, I will continue to visit schools when invited.”

Katherine Parker