Superintendent Jeffrey Burt and Mrs. Cannata's First Grade Students
Mr. Jeffrey Burt, Superintendent of Colchester Public schools has recently been interviewed by members of the Colchester community as he joined the district in July of 2018. Just when he thought he was finished with such interviews, some of the youngest members of the Colchester community wanted to get to know him. It all started when Mr. Burt stopped by and sat down to visit the classroom, something he does frequently as he loves getting to spend time with students. Once he left the room on that particular day, several children wondered what it meant to be a superintendent. First grade teacher Mrs. Pamela Cannata asked the children, “How could you find the answer to your question?” The children came up with the idea of asking him to come and visit to ask him about his job. Mrs. Cannata’s first graders created an invitation asking their Superintendent if he would join their class so they could interview him. They worked cooperatively ahead of time to create a list of questions for Mr. Burt, including questions about his job and about the things he likes such as hobbies, desserts, and baseball teams! They children fully enjoyed their visit and created a thank you card to show their appreciation for the time they spent with their superintendent!
Mrs. Cannata’s first graders were so excited about interviewing their superintendent that they used the same format to interview their school principal, school assistant principal, the head custodian, and the cafeteria manager. They experienced a week of visitors; interviewing each one in order to learn more about the people in our school community. This experience was so wonderful as it directly correlates to the new Connecticut Social Studies Framework for First Grade, yet it was completely developed because students had a wonder!
Mrs. Cannata loves teaching and is passionate about having students guide their own learning. In her classroom students create their own “Hope and Dream” for the school year, something they want to learn more about. Student photos along with their “Hopes and Dreams” are displayed so that everyone can help each other to reach their personal goals. A “Discovery Station” is set up in the classroom where students can explore and communicate about a given topic based on such “Hopes and Dreams”. Mrs. Cannata has been teaching first grade in Colchester for 24 years.