Every now and then, I enjoy reflecting on my school days.
Eating lunch in the cafeteria while laughing with classmates. Playing games like kickball and dodge ball outside on school property. Passing a love letter to my first crush. Shopping for new clothes before the first day of school. Getting up in front of the class for show and tell.
Those memories always hold a special place in my heart.
Of course, much has changed in the school system since I attended Leesburg High School in the ’90s.
Back then, recess was a standard part of school. Today, school administrators and teachers are debating whether recess is beneficial for students.
Back then, teachers had freedom to be creative in their classrooms and make learning fun. Today, teachers are more restricted, thanks to Common Core, which forces them to teach toward a series of standardized tests.
Back then, bullying certainly existed but not on such a large scale. Today, bullying isn’t limited to a face-to-face encounter on school property. It also occurs on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I’m thankful social media did not exist when I was a growing up.
The recess debate, Common Core, and bullying are three of the most controversial issues school administrators deal with on a daily basis. This month, Healthy Living is delving into those topics and finding out how local principals, teachers, and parents are handling them.
Speaking of education, we’re also recognizing one of Lake County’s brightest stars in the classroom. Andrea Vineyard, who teaches special needs students at Tavares High School, was named the 2015-2016 Lake County Teacher of the Year. Thanks to her passion, commitment, and dedication, her students continue to reach their full potential inside and outside the classroom.
On a final note, March is one of the most beautiful and weather-friendly months in Florida. I encourage you to get outside and take advantage of our scenic hiking trails and our picturesque city and county parks. In addition, be sure to attend some of the county’s extraordinary events occurring during the next two months. They include Pig on the Pond in Clermont (March 10-12), the Sunnyland Antique and Classic Boat Festival in Tavares (March 18-19), and the Leesburg Bikefest (April 28-30).
See you next month!