Teachers take tour of neighborhoods


“The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round,” sang Howard Bishop Middle School teachers on Tuesday.

Howard Bishop Middle School Bus Tour to Meet Students
The wheels on their school bus took them to area apartment complexes so teachers could pass out drinks, snacks and information about the upcoming “Meet the Teacher” event.

Principal Mike Gamble said the hourlong bus tour helps spread the word about the annual open house, held at all area schools on Thursday and Friday.

“It also helps build relationships both ways,” he said. “For teachers, it lets them see the influences the kids coming into their classrooms are going to have and the kids get to see what teachers are like in real life.”

Teachers stopped at Tree Trail Apartments, Eden Park and the Lamplighter mobile home park.

“Hey!” said Christie McGann as she hugged former student DeShala Hardy. “How was your summer?”

DeShala starts seventh grade at Howard Bishop this year.

“I’m just ready to go back to school,” she said.

Although her children won’t attend Howard Bishop, Carolyn Fields was pleasantly surprised to see the school bus pull up at Tree Trail.

“All the teachers coming to meet the students, that’s good,” she said as Gamble spoke to her.

Toni Brooks, a 13-year-old seventh-grader, was walking outside her apartment complex when teachers started yelling her name out of the bus window.

“It’s kind of surprising because I didn’t expect to see my teachers,” she said laughing.

Gamble explained over the bus intercom that the Gainesville Police Department’s Black on Black Crime Task Force patrols some of the complexes during the summer.

“It’s a tough place to live,” said Buddy Kamman, assistant principal. “I used to live at the Lamplighter so I know first-hand.”

Kamman said he hopes the teachers grasp a better understanding of their students.

“I want them to have some empathy for the kids, not sympathy, and help bridge that gap between student and teacher,” he said. “Once that happens, a lot of good things can happen.”

Meet the Teacher on Thursday, Friday
Alachua County Public Schools teachers will open their classrooms for meet-and-greets on Thursday and Friday. For a full list, go to www.sbac.edu.

Contact Jackie Alexander at jackie.alexander@gvillesun.com or 338-3166.