Superintendent George learns through reading

ELKINS – Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said he currently reads articles, books and information related to academics, rather than reading for pleasure or self-improvement.

Right now, he said he is researching information on the “flipped classroom” concept.

“The flipped classroom is where teachers use the classroom solely for interaction of the students,” George said. “It is a new trend and many school systems are finding a tremendous amount of success using this model.”

George said most of his reading involves professional magazines like District Administration. He said the articles deal with trends in education and effective leadership.

“‘The Energy Bus’ was the last book I read,” George said. “It deals with how to develop relationships with staff and advocates positive attitudes. One of its themes is there should be no ‘energy vampires.’ The book was given to me, and other West Virginia superintendents, by Dr. Jim Phares, (the former) West Virginia Superintendent of Schools.”

George said he enjoyed reading when he was a child.

“We didn’t have video games – only a black and white television where we had three stations, ABC, NBC and CBS,” he said. “Reading allowed us to experience things outside of our town in other parts of the world.”

While growing up, George said his grandmother and parents used to read him his favorite books, including those about Tarzan and the Lone Ranger.

“When I was in fifth grade, our teacher would read to us during lunch,” he said. “It was great. She would read the Nancy Drew mysteries and the Hardy Boys series.”

He said when he would read, he let his imagination go, seeing pictures in his mind of what the book described to him.

“It helped us develop our imaginations,” George said. “Now kids have access to the Internet and all kinds of videos and they don’t have to use their imagination. Images are there right in front of them. I think as a child, we also developed a sense of adventure. Back then, reading was more relaxing and we read because we enjoyed it.”

George said reading is vital for children – and all people.

“Reading is the key building block to being successful,” George said. “Reading is key to being successful to everything in life. Everything today requires reading, whether preparing for college or career preparation.”

George said one day soon he will look forward to once again reading just for fun.

“My favorite books are mysteries, especially those written by Tony Hillerman,” he said.