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Archive for Friday, August 12, 2005

Teachers hit the streets to meet new pupils

August 12, 2005

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— A school in this northeast Kansas community employed a new approach to introduce teachers to their new charges.

Instead of mailing letters or posting lists to tell students who'll be teaching them, Lawson Elementary principal Kevin Lunsford and every teacher from Lawson Elementary School hit the streets Wednesday to knock on nearly 200 doors in an 11-square-mile area.

Lunsford came up with the idea last year.

"We met our parents on their ground rather than ours," he said, noting that not all parents remember their teachers and school days fondly.

He said the face-to-face meetings help teachers as much as pupils.

"It gave our teachers a whole new perspective," he said. "They knew what type of environment our kids grew up in."

The teachers were greeted with hugs and regaled with tales of summertime activities as they made their rounds.

Desmond Howard, 8, jumped into the arms of third-grade teacher Aimee McDonald when he learned she would be his teacher.

And Justin Van-Way's family spilled out the door when McDonald and music teacher Cheryl Tellez arrived.

"I don't think we've met before," his father, Duane LaDuron, said, offering a hello to McDonald.

Justin said he had a hunch that McDonald would be his teacher.

"I knew," said the 8-year-old.

Teachers praised the experience, noting it will make it easier to talk to parents when problems arise.

"It's nice to start the year off on a positive note," Tellez said. "If you don't have the relationship with them it's a whole different story."

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