RI News
1:13 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Gist Back in the Classroom

State Education Commissioner Deborah Gist got a chance to use her teaching skills this week.  She taught a mini economics lesson to a kindergarten class.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist visits Carl G. Lauro Elementary School in Providence
Credit Natalie Jablonski

Twenty kindergartners quietly fidget as Commissioner Gist introduces herself.  Her lesson focuses on basic concepts like earning and saving, and how to recognize coins. 

This class at the Carl Lauro Elementary School in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood…is part of a week-long effort to bring state leaders into public schools.  Earlier this week Cranston Mayor Alan Fung spoke to students about growing up in South Providence. 

Before going into politics Commissioner Gist taught elementary school.  She says she misses being in the classroom every day.

“It’s wonderful, I absolutely love it," Gist says. "It’s a little challenging because you don’t exactly know the routines…let alone the names of the children, but it was so fun, I absolutely love it.”

The kids say good bye to Commissioner Gist at the end of her forty-minute lesson.  She says she tries to visit a Rhode Island classroom at least once a week.