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Rep. Francis spends a day in the classroom PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 13:41


• Leader & Times

The teaching profession is time-consuming and full of hard work and recently, local representative Shannon Francis got the chance to revisit his elementary alma mater Sunflower Elementary School for the second year in a row and see that work up close. 

“It went really well. I thought the teachers were doing a great job, the students were all wonderful and intelligent and so kind and respectful,” Francis said.

Francis had visited Sunflower to be the teacher for a day last year and said he noticed some dramatic changes coming back this time around.

“I participated in this last year and I’d had some concerns about the student to teacher ratio being too high – last year it was really high and this year the numbers were down as far as all that, and that’s made huge difference in the classroom,” Francis said. “Another thing that came back to me is some of the teaching methods being used, they were great. I got to see some innovative ways the teachers were teaching the students things like recognizing when words were plural and also how they were trying to teach the students who looked at math problems differently.”

While he has always had special respect and admiration for educators, Francis said he came away with more of that after being at Sunflower Wednesday and said more people need to understand the day-to-day work of schoolteachers. 

“Teaching is almost a science, it’s a skill you have to hone just like any profession, and some of the methods they were using were amazing. I also gained some more admiration and respect,” Francis said. “I think a lot of times people don’t realize how much teachers use their own money to make their classrooms a great environment for their students to enjoy, I think sometimes we also forget how much time teachers spend in the evenings and early mornings working with their students.”

Francis also praised the two teachers he shadowed Wednesday, Lanetta Schmidt and Shelby Taylor. 

“Education is one of the largest parts of the Kansas state budget. USD 480 is one of the largest institutions in the community, and I think it’s really important for me as a state representative to understand what’s happening at the ground level, so to speak, and see how the students and teachers are interacting,” Francis said. “In Ms. Taylor’s class, there was an activity where the students solved math problems through a puzzle and I got to help a pair of students with that, and watching these students work through that and working together, you saw the smiles on their faces when they finally got it. I want to thank the administration and those two teachers for allowing me to participate again.”




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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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