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Sup with the Sup
Sup with the Sup
Episode 1: Getting Ready for Students
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Welcome Provo City School District.

00;00;14;08 – 00;00;20;08

This is our very first podcast episode of What ‘Sup With the Sup’.  I am Superintendent Wendy Dau and I am very excited to be here.  This is going to be a weekly podcast. We’re going to have new episodes every Friday to provide an inside look at all of the great things that are happening in our Provo schools. We want to recognize and celebrate teachers and employees across the district, provide updates on important projects and discussions that are taking place throughout our district, give you important dates and need to know information, and our episodes will be posted on Spotify, YouTube and the district website.

00;00;53;23 – 00;00;59;02

So here are our weekly updates for the week of August 14th. First and foremost, the first day of school for first through 12th graders is Wednesday, August 16th. We are pretty excited to welcome all of our students back. The first day of kindergarten will be on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Make sure that you’re checking your school’s website, their  calendar and social media, because that is where they list important dates, their back to school nights, which are all going to be happening on Monday and Tuesday of next week,  their school start times, and anything that you need to know for the first day, including kindergarten testing.

Elementary schools will be releasing early for the first week of school. They release at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, the 16th, Thursday, the 17th, Monday, the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd. They release at 1:30 on Friday, the 18th.

If you qualify for free or reduced lunch, please remember to send your application within the first 30 days of school. This does need to be done every year and we want to make sure that your children can eat school lunch.

Please remember to update your information in Powerschool. This also needs to be done annually and allows our teachers and our staff to be able to get in touch with you and to communicate with you so that you know what is happening with your child at school.

I also want to let you know that our next school board meeting will have a study session on Tuesday, August 22nd. We begin at 4 p.m. We meet in Boardroom One at the district office and these meetings are open to the public.

Our foundation’s links for kids golf tournament will be held on September 28th, so save the date. If you’re interested in participating, please visit foundation.provo.edu.

Also, tune in for our weekly videocast from me every Friday to highlight important events that are taking place across the district.

00;02;59;08 – 00;03;02;29

For our first episode, we want to go out to the schools and visit with teachers and principals so that you can hear all of the hard work that they put forth as they get ready to welcome your children into their classrooms.We are going to be starting at Canyon Crest Elementary School, and we’re going to be talking with a couple of teachers there. So come along with me as we visit with them and find out all the excitement that is happening in our schools as we get ready for students.

00;03;28;22 – 00;03;29;13

Wendy: I’m here with Mackenzie, who is a teacher at Canyon Crest Elementary. She teaches third grade. And I just walked into her classroom and it is incredible. Like, it is the most welcoming space. Like, I would love to be in here. I just want you to know, I think I just – There’s the rug. The desks are all ready to go. The bulletin boards are like… this is awesome. Like, so positive. (Wendy super excited).

If I were a parent bringing my child here, I would be like, Yes, this is incredible.  So thank you for doing that.

So I just want you to tell us a little bit about everything that you go through to prepare for the first day of school and then tell me your favorite part. Like, what’s the part you’re most looking forward to?

McKenzie: I feel like for the next school year begins, like the day school ends the previous year. Me I’m already thinking about these little kids I’m going to get already thinking about what I’m going to do different, what I’m going to do better, all those different things. So it’s we go through a lot of prep, just a lot of prep of what are we going to teach, what are we going to do? What are we going to put on our walls to make it cute, all of those things? You know, I feel like my favorite part is just meeting all these kids every year. It’s like I get 30 new best friends every single year, and you get to learn all their little personalities and you get to learn what they really like, what they don’t like, what they’re good at, maybe what they need some help on. And it’s just so fun to see all these little personalities and their growth. That’s the biggest thing I love is having them walk in my classroom in August and then scooching around the door in May and seeing how much they’ve grown that year. To me, that’s just like the most rewarding thing ever.

Wendy: Oh, that’s awesome. I love hearing that. Tell me a little bit about did you attend the opening session this morning? Okay, so tell me and I’m going to kind of put you on the spot so it’s okay if it takes a minute. But what do you think it means to find your swing? Like, what does that mean to you that we have this district theme and what are you hopeful that that will mean for you and the impact it would have for you in the classroom?

Mckenzie: Yeah, I think it’s kind of similar to the kids, right? With the kids, we always have these routines, we have these procedures. We have these things that the kids know from 8:30 to 3:30, they’ve got it down, what’s happening? Okay, now we’re going here. We’re doing that. And so I think the same thing for adults. We function well with the exact same thing. The knowing what to expect, knowing what’s expected of me, what I need to be doing throughout the day, and kind of just having that structure and plan. And I think of golf when you said that, I  think of golf. My husband’s a golfer and so I thought of golf. And like, that applies to that too. Yeah. So I thought of that and I was like, he like, he’ll go around our house practicing swing in his golf club and stuff, and it just kind of made me think like, okay, we’re just like, fine tuning, tweaking some things, getting it right where it needs to be for the best shot for everybody. So I kind of that’s where my mind went.

Wendy: Oh, excellent. I love that. Yeah. Tell me, have you attended any professional learning over the summer or have you done that at your school? Or if you haven’t done that yet and you’re working with your grade level team, what is something you’re excited that you’ve just been introduced to or got an idea from that you’re excited to implement in your classroom?

McKenzie: I feel like this year, me and my team during the summer, we spent a lot of time talking about science in particular because, in the past, science for us has been like, What are we doing? Like we have these fun things, but we’re not really sure where to go with it. And just with all the district materials that have been provided and the Seed Standards and the storylines, we just got really excited about just the very clear, concise ways to follow the science. And here’s your materials. Here’s this packet for less than one, here’s this packet for lesson two. And I think that’s something we were super excited about because it was just we had these science standards and we can teach them, but it’s just going to elevate our teaching so much. And that was  something our team was just really, really excited about for this year.

Wendy: What do you want your kids to know as they’re walking… as they’re coming in? Like if you could talk to them right now before the first day because they’re nervous, right? Yeah. So what message would you want to send them?

McKenzie: I would just want them to know that I love them because for me, I’m like getting emotional. I don’t know why, but for me it’s like these kids come from so many different backgrounds and I actually just had a baby this last year. And so that kind of like brought in that parent side too, and kind of gave me the understanding of what it’s like to be sending your kids to school. And, you know, I would just want them to know how much they’re loved and it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. I think in third grade sometimes the kids get a little overwhelmed because it’s a big jump. It’s a big jump. The rigor changes, like taking secret testing. There’s all these things, that kind of thing overwhelming. So just that they know they’re loved, they’re okay. We’re going to be fine. You’re going to do awesome and that everything’s good just to be calm.

Wendy: What would you want to tell parents? What is the message you would love to share with them?

McKenzie: Probably similar to that, I kind of echo the same things, but also just that we’re on the same team. I want to do anything that I can to help their child and that it’s it’s me and them together to help their child and their child as well. You know, it’s all of us. But yeah, just that their kids are loved, they’re safe here and that whatever I should do to help them, that’s what I want. And mostly just to communicate because I feel like sometimes we don’t always know it’s hard. Like teachers, we pick up on a lot, but sometimes we don’t always know certain things going on. And I love it when parents say, like, Hey, my kid is struggling with this and you know, they’re afraid to talk about it or whatever. It’s just the communication, the open communication I love with parents.  It just when they come in and I feel like they’re my friends, that’s the best.

Wendy: So thank you so much for spending time with us, Mackenzie, to talk about how you’re prepping for the first day of school. I look forward to watching those kids walk through your door.

00;09;06;16 – 00;09;08;22

Wendy: I’m here with Ignacio Romero, who is one of our fourth grade teachers at Canyon Crest Elementary and he teaches in our Spanish DLI program on the Spanish side. So I look forward to talking with you.

So how long have you been here?

Ignacio: Oh, I just got here the 20th of July. So it’s been like three weeks.

Wendy: Yeah, that’s a lot. Yeah. So tell me about all the things that you’ve had to do just for yourself personally as you’re getting ready. So you’re getting ready to teach kids and you also have to get your life ready, right?

Ignacio: So I think the first day when I got here, my main objective, it was just to get settled in, you know, find an apartment or where to live. Yes, you have to look for a car. Actually, I have no idea about the car, but it was fine, you know. One of the teachers that works here, her name is Paola. She helped me out a lot. She was amazing. It was like an angel to me, you know, because, yeah, you are new here at the beginning. You need that someone to give you a ride, you know, that are available. I know that the teachers were on vacation, but someone gave me a list of people that I could call if I need help. And you know, that for me was so important because at the beginning this is going to be difficult. You know, so it is important, too, that you feel that there are people behind you. And yet I got all these things and now I am focusing on how I’m going to teach, prepare the class, get ready. I’m really looking forward to meet the students. I have the chance to be with John and Heather. They are wonderful. They are explaining a lot of things.

Wendy: Yes, it can be overwhelming a little bit.

Ignacio:  But I’m very happy.

Wendy: Well, you seem very calm. Like I’m very impressed. Like, I probably would’ve been petrified.

Ignacio:  Not that much..

Wendy: Okay. Okay, so tell me. So you’re teaching fourth grade. You’re teaching the Spanish side of our dual immersion program here at Canyon Crest.  Tell me already what you’ve noticed that’s different about American schools versus schools in Spain. Maybe two things here.

Ignacio: Well, I think that just here in America is another level, you know, like the commitment that some of the families have that is pretty unusual back in Spain.   Here I have the support of some families and they are really willing to help you if you need help. So, yeah, that is something new to me. And I think the program is really interesting and that you can focus on Spanish, science and help in math as well. And I think that here in America you have a lot of resources, means or if you need help, you know, if I feel like I have any questions, I can go to several people and ask. You know, I really feel supported in that situation. So yeah, I think this is another different level. 

Wendy: So there’s just a little bit more support. Not like you’re just kind of left to figure it out on your own. 

Ignacio: Yeah. 

Wendy: Oh, that’s good to hear.

Ignacio: Yeah.

Wendy: So you’re feeling like you kind of know some key people that you can reach out to?

Ignacio: Yeah, all that.

Wendy: So tell me about some of the things that you’re doing to prepare for the students to walk in that door the first day.

Ignacio: So as you see, I got some material I want to… I don’t know… I think it’s important to prepare the classroom because if you feel like you are at home, I think that you are going to transmit that feeling to your students. I just want that when they get into the class, they feel that here we are going to learn a little bit of Spanish and the Spanish culture. We are going to learn things. But, you know, I want that they focus on Spanish as well. I don’t know. I’ve been preparing a lot of things.

Wendy: I can see all of the things that you have set up. You’re like, ready to put them on the wall. You get them set up on the desks.

Ignacio: And that is just the beginning. So you know in my mind I have a lot of things. Hopefully I will have the time. 

Wendy: There’s a lot that goes into this, right?

Ignacio: Yeah.

Wendy: So what are some of the strategies that you’re going to use to get to know your students right out of the gate? Like, how do you, like, learn their names or how do you build a relationship with them?

Ignacio: So I think that in the first days its very important that you get to know them. You set some rules, some protocol that you’re going to be using. I think that is important, that the rules that we are going to have here or the protocols I start using, the ways that I’m going to use when I’m going to teach them the lesson. So, for example, be in groups, couple A couple B,  I want that they talk a lot – that for sure is going to be very difficult for them at the beginning because they just came from the summer. You know in their second language sometimes it’s not very…you know you are afraid of talk so I want that they feel comfortable. Probably we will play some games so they can keep practicing their Spanish and they get confidence. And at the beginning I think that…just reward them if they do anything well.  I got some tickets and we are going to use them. I did gamification. I think it’s called About Pokémon. I know that the school is going to be Mario and I bought some things about Mario. But yeah, I think that it was a pretty good idea to use that with them and I think that they love them. They’re going to love it.

Ignacio: They will love it. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Wendy: So you have a fourth grader who’s nervous and you’re maybe nervous too.

Ignacio: Yeah.

Wendy: What would you want to tell that fourth grader so that they you know, if we could talk to him right now as they’re getting ready to come to school next week, what would you want to say to them?

Ignacio: I think that I would just say, relax, we are going to have fun. Don’t be afraid to make any mistakes, because probably I’m going to make mistakes so you are able to do mistakes, You know, when I speak Spanish, sometimes I make mistakes. So normally they’re going to do it. And I’m happy with that. I just want that they participate, that they feel good, that they feel relaxed. I’m going to try to set some areas  like that chill out area.

Wendy: Oh, I like that – a chill out area. That sounds amazing. That’s great.

Ignacio: But I want that they work hard as well.

Wendy: Yeah. But there’s a good balance, right?

Ignacio: Yeah, it’s a balance. But to get that balance, I think that you need to get their confidence too, that they feel secure, they feel relaxed. If they’re just happy when they come into your classroom. I think that can make the difference.

Wendy: What would you want to tell their parents to reassure their parents?

Ignacio? Well, that I am here to help them.

Wendy: Yeah.

Ignacio: And I would like to work with them as well. I would like that they are involved

in the development of their, of their sons and daughters and my students and you know, they are giving me that the most important thing that they have in their life.

Wendy: Yes they are.

Ignacio: So for me that is a lot of responsibility and if I have to do it alone, I will do it alone. But if they want to be part of that, I will be very happy.

Wendy: I love that and I love that we’re recognizing that we know that they are relying on us, that parents are relying on us a lot, and that we take that responsibility really seriously.Right. That’s really important. 

Wendy: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. And I so wish you luck. And I can’t wait for our kids to come into your classroom and meet you and start speaking Spanish.

Ignacio: You are invited here

Wendy: I love it so much. So thank you, Ignacio.

Ignacio: Thank you. 

Wendy: It was so very nice to meet you.

Igancio:  It was nice to meet you.

Wendy: I’m here at Sunset View Elementary with Mr.Chilcoat, who’s our principal. And so thank you so much for being willing to talk with us a little bit about all the things that you do to get ready to have your students return to school.

Chris: You’re welcome. Excited to have you here at Sunset View.

Wendy: Thank you. So tell us a little bit about some of the things that you do to celebrate the start of school or how do you help the kids get all jazzed up for coming to school?

Chris: It’s a great question. So this is my eighth year at Sunset View and my first year we decided that we wanted to roll out the red carpet for the kids. And so we have a 30 foot red carpet and on the northwest corner of the school, we set that up and our teachers come out and we line the red carpet with teachers and staff and we just celebrate kids coming in school. It’s amazing. 

Wendy: Oh, that’s incredible.  So they’re just cheering. High fives all around.The kids feel very welcome.

Chris: Yeah, we have music playing. We’ve got balloons. We have our mascot outside. And the kids they just love it.

Wendy: And so talk to us a little bit about what’s your mascot, because I see it here in your office.

Chris: So we are the dragons? And  yeah, we SOAR. Our our our acronym is SOAR,  which is Show Respect on Learning,  Act Responsibly, and reflect safety. And that sort of becomes our focus for our kids.

Wendy: I love it. So what have your teachers been doing to get ready for all of the kids to come back to talk to us about the energy and the excitement and what kinds of things you’ve been doing with them?

Chris: Yeah, so it started the last day of school, actually. So our teachers have been working on the language arts standards and getting just getting their classrooms ready and moving classrooms. Some of our teachers have moved classrooms and we’ve done a lot of professional development. We actually sent home postcards to all of our students yesterday. And so just inviting them to to the grade level they’ll be in and the teacher sent those.

Wendy: Oh, that’s wonderful. So they’re going to get that. So they get, like, mail. Yeah, it’s very exciting. They’re going to feel very grown up 

Chris: Yes they are.

Wendy: I love it. Okay. And so I see here that you have a book on your desk. Tell me a little bit about this book and what you’re going to be doing with it.

Chris: So one of the things that we want to work on is perseverance and being courageous. And so our theme this year at our school is going to be, I Got This. And and so we’re going to show a video of a young lady who was the first Down Syndrome girl and receive a scholarship in college for playing golf. And she got to participate in the TPC Scottsdale Tournament where she actually got to do a practice hole with one of the PGA Tour members, and she got a par on the hole. And the whole time she was playing golf, she was saying, I got this, I got this. And so I was at a conference and I saw a book called Brave. And it’s about a young kid and what it means to be brave. And so we’re going to read the story to the students and show the video of Amy and her practice hole on the PGA Tour. And then we’re going to be recognizing a student in each class that is brave or courageous and we’re going to give them a wristband that says, I Got This, and it says Nothing Stops a Dragon. And then we’re going to take a polaroid picture of the student and put them in the foyer of our school.

Wendy: Oh, my goodness. I love this. That’s amazing. So tell me a little bit about like if you could talk with some of your students and some of them might be nervous about the start of school, what would you want to tell them? What would you want to say to them?

Chris: That our teachers are amazing and they’re going to make you feel welcome at school and you can be a little bit nervous. And I understand it’s going to be nervous, but our teachers are amazing and you’re just going to feel love and welcome here at Sunset View.

Wendy: That’s awesome. And what message would you want to send to parents about … cause they’re giving up their kids several hours every day, right? What would you want to say to them?

Chris: Yeah. So we have two focuses that I share with parents. And number one, our number one responsibility is that students are safe, and we have a great system in place to make sure that their child is safe here at school. And the next thing is that they’re going to learn. So we are guaranteeing that these kids will learn and make growth academically here at Sunset View. So they’re in great hands. We love kids. We want them to be here and we look forward to this first day of school. That’s very exciting.

Wendy:  That’s awesome. Just the energy that I feel when I walk in this building. You can just feel the vibe and there’s like a buzz, right? We’re all excited to have the kids come in next week.

Chris: It’s exciting. It’s a great time of year.

Wendy: It never gets old, right? No,  we look forward to it all the time. So anyway, thank you, Mr. Chilcoat, for taking the time to speak with us about the first weeks of school.

Chris: Fantastic. Thanks for being here. 

Wendy: Thanks.

Wendy: I’m here with Jeremy Harris, who is an art teacher at Dixon Middle School. And I just need to describe this classroom for a second. So you walk in, there are beautiful windows. I can see, I think that’s Timpanogos. 

Jeremy: Yes.

Wendy: So I can see Mt. Timpanogos like that. It’s just incredible. And then he has a big poster that says Draw. More. Bigger. And he has an Incredible Hulk. And I’m just excited to be in here.  It’s a very inviting space. So tell us a little bit about your background and how you became a teacher, because I hear this is sort of a second career for you.

Jeremy: So so the short story, okay, in high school I was always in the art room. It’s always been kind of my thing. I respect other subjects, we just don’t get along. So – especially math, which is funny because my wife is a math teacher. Okay, So we got that end covered. So I listen to voices about how hard it was to make a living as an artist. And so I started looking at other avenues where I thought I could still use some design and some artistic skill and I landed on landscape architecture. And so I pursued the landscape architecture degree and I went into that field and I was in that field for about 13 years. I’m a real slow learner because after about year three, I didn’t like it. Very, very little use of art in design and a lot of more technical stuff that I just wasn’t interested in.  And so I think eventually my wife got tired of hearing me complain and she registered me for some more art classes at UVU. And so I decided to go back and pursue my BFA. And while I was taking more classes, I had an experience that kind of pointed me to education. And here I am ten years later and years later. It’s been awesome. I haven’t regretted a minute.

Wendy: Oh, I love that. So tell me about the things that you’re doing to prepare for students to come on the first day of school.

Jeremy: Oh, jeez.

Wendy: Because it’s it’s a long list, right?

Jeremy: So there’s a lot on my to do list. A lot of times for me, it kind of has to go in stages. I have to get my room ready because if my room is not ready, then I can’t focus on lessons. So I have to get my room ready. And so I’ve spent some time getting the room ready. I’ve had to prepare for… I’m sharing the room this year with another art teacher, so I really wanted to make some space and cupboards and drawers and office for her and so that would have bugged me to have that come over my head. So I got that ready. And then as far as you know, I want to get seating charts done and get some of the technical stuff,the Blocksi, some of that stuff set up. And after that, then I will focus on, you know, lessons. I’m never satisfied with where my lessons are. There’s always room to improve. And so I always, even if I’ve taught the same project 12 times, I’m still going to look at it from a new lens of, okay, what do I need to tweak? How can I change it? How can I make it better? So that’s kind of the focus over the next couple of days.

Wendy: Okay. So I was a student who well, I’m a terrible artist, and so I would be very nervous going into an art class because I would feel like it’s something I’m going to fail at. So do you find that a lot of students are scared at first about art, or do they feel confident? And if they are experiencing that like they’re nervous about it, how do you help them see that they can be successful and help alleviate that?

Jeremy: So yeah, I would say the majority of students that come in are nervous about art. The thing I hear the most, and it’s not just students, it’s from adults as well. It’s funny, I tell the kids this story kind of in the very beginning whenever people find out what I do. Oh, you’re in art, you teach art, so you must be an artist. And I say, Yeah, and the very next thing out of their mouth is, oh, I can’t draw. And I tell the kids this story and I say, Look, it’s just like anything else, you know? And I kind of go around the room. How many of you play an instrument? How many of you like soccer? How many of you like football? So with soccer, you know, could you kick a ball into the goal the very first time? Oh, no, I couldn’t do that. Well, what do you need to do?. Same with art , you know, And so I think it’s a good learning opportunity to tell them, look, it’s just like anything else if you want to if you want to learn how to do something, you practice and you practice. So our focus here, what I really wanted to focus on is that it’s not really about creating art. We’re practicing, and the more you practice, the better you get. So a byproduct is, is a piece of our work, but our focus is practicing.

Wendy: Practicing,  and building those skills. 

Jeremy: And the second hurdle. So the first is them kind of predetermining, you know, they can’t do it. And there’s some good conversation we have about growth mindset.

Wendy: Good.

Jeremy: The second hurdle is that they just fear failure. Yes, they don’t even want to try. I think especially… it’s just getting worse with social media. They just don’t even want to try because they don’t want to fail. And unfortunately, I think that’s just instilled in them that, you know, if they fail, they get a bad grade. And so I talk about failure and really that’s kind of the key component of making art is trying something and failing and failing and failing because every time you fail, you get better and you figure out what not to do. So that’s so important in art. And so I just start off by having just good conversations with them that it’s okay to fill. It’s not pleasant to fail, but it’s okay to fail. 

Wendy: You come out the other side, okay? Like you’re still alive. That’s fine. You’re good.

Jeremy: Life goes on. 

Wendy: Yes.

Jeremy: And you’re better. 

Wendy: Yes. And they need to practice. I appreciate that mindset that you’re bringing to them, because I think that is something that really plagues a lot of our students. That fear of failure prevents them from really exploring and trying new things. So tell me a little bit. You said that you’re also coaching, You’re an innovative learning coach. So tell me a little bit about how you’re helping teachers develop technology and different and what that entails and how you’re supporting other teachers as they’re getting ready for students to come into their classrooms. 

Jeremy: So brand new to it.

Wendy: So you’re also learning.

Jeremy:I’m also learning, but I’m still jumping in. And when I mess up, I’ll learn from that. But I think the main thing is just it’s kind of the analogy that you have a tool belt and it’s not that you have all of this technology and you need to figure out a way to use all of this technology. It’s you got to find the right tool for the job. And so that’s going to be one of my big things with the teachers is, okay, what are you trying to do right? What is the task you need done? And then and then kind of help them find the right technology that will support what they want to do. The district has a great array of supported technologies and that would kind of be the focus is, you know, which one of these district supported technologies would help you before you just start searching and downloading apps. Right.. You know, that’s the shotgun approach. So let’s take a more, you know, kind of planned out way towards this. 

Wendy: And sometimes technology might not be the best way to deliver something.

Jeremy:Right.

Wendy:  So understanding when is it going to be the most effective tool right. So tell me a little bit about what is your department doing  to really welcome kids are like, if you let me back up, if you if you were thinking about seventh and eighth graders that are going to come in next week and they’re nervous, what would you want to say to them right now to help them ease their nervousness 

Jeremy: Well, it’s funny. So,last Friday, we had new student orientation where a bunch of seventh graders came through. And I tell them the same thing. I say, number one, I’m nervous. I’m nervous at the beginning of every semester. And they kind of look at me like, Huh, you know, I have to learn all new kids. You guys are all different, which is one of the main reasons why I teach is you keep it interesting. So, number one, I’m nervous and I know that me saying don’t be nervous is not going to make you not nervous. So it’s okay to be nervous, but just just come and understand that, you know, from your very first minute, you meet your first teacher. Our job is to help you figure out what your next class is and where you’re going next and what lunch you have. And it’s okay. And then at the end of the day, you’re going to be a pro. So just come in. You’re going to be nervous. And that’s okay.

Wendy: I love that, too. They need to recognize how much support is here at the school for them. What would you want to tell their parents? You know, parents give up their kids for so many hours a day to these individuals that they’ve never met before. So what kinds of things would you want to say to parents to let them know that this is really the best place for their kid to be?

Jeremy: Well, there’s a lot. Yes. How much time do we have? I would first tell them, you know, having gone through it, I’ve had five kids. All, you know, starting middle school was rough. But and it’s okay to be nervous for the parents to understand that, you know, the the teachers that are hired here are the best that our administration could find. And and we have an amazing array of teachers. We’re more like a family. That’s why, you know, lots of us stick around at Dixon. Yes. And I hear the same for our other schools as well. Provo is just a great school district. I tell them to. You know, that that would it’ll be okay. Your kids are well thought after. You know, teachers, teachers love all the kids. We don’t not like a kid.

Wendy: Right.

Jeremy: We understand that they have challenges just like we have challenges. And I would ask the parents, just have patience with the teachers as well, because we’re not perfect.

Wendy: Right?

Jeremy: We mess up, too. Yeah, but we learn from our mistakes.

Wendy: That’s right. That’s awesome. What are you most excited about for the school year?

Jeremy: The school year? I think I’m most excited about our new digital art class getting to kind of design that class and figure out, you know what, the focus of digital art, it’s where do we go? I got all brand new iPads with Apple pencils. Thank you District. And the kids are going to be able to make some amazing artwork. I’ve noticed we have iPads and the thing I’ve noticed is whenever we do a project with iPads, it’s a 100% engagement with these kids. That’s incredible. Always. And so I’m excited that we have this amazing tool. And not only that, but we have the same app that professional artists use and that goes a long way with these kids as they start creating. They’re using the exact same tool that professional artists use and it’s available to them, and that makes it really relevant to them. They’re like, people are actually using this, so I’m teaching you a skill you could eventually use if you become an artist. The relevance is there. I love where they go and they search out how to do something with the app and then they can come and show me, Oh, it’s always like a challenge to them. So I’m like, Hey, I don’t know how to do that, but you know, there’s these there’s this amazing resource called YouTube. 

Wendy: Yes.

Jeremy: So and they’re very good at finding Oh, yeah, there are so many different videos of how to use this app. So please research and figure out how to do it. Come back and show me. And they they love to do that. So so they can be the expert as well. Yeah, I’m most excited about that class, so that’s great.

Wendy: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us about all that you’re doing to get ready for students to come to Dixon Middle School next week. So thank you.

Jeremy: You bet. Happy to do it.

Wendy: Thank you, everyone for joining me for the first episode of What ‘Sup with the Sup’. Going forward, we want to provide information that will be valuable to our listeners. If you have any topics or questions you would like us to discuss on the podcast, please email us at podcast@provo.edu.  Be sure to join us next week for our second episode on Friday, August 18th. I will be joined by Darrell Jensen, our Assistant Superintendent over Secondary Schools, where we are going to be discussing the district’s overall theme for the coming school year. Have a great week, everyone. Happy first day of school.

Shauna Sprunger
  • Coordinator of Communications
  • Shauna Sprunger
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