Cindy Hanson brings orderly learning to Destin Elementary School

Savannah Chastain | The Log
Cindy Hanson is eager to begin her second grade class at Destin Elementary School. “I just like to see how far I can take them from the beginning of the year to see their growth,” she said.

Cindy Hanson can describe her teaching style in one word; organized. Every drawer is labeled, every book is in its place, and every detail for her new second grade class is meticulously ordered; yielding a clean, welcoming classroom atmosphere.

“I’m very organized,” said Hanson. “I have a very structured room, that way the kids know what to expect from me, and the parents know what to expect. I feel like kids will learn best when they know what to expect in a quiet, orderly environment.”

This is not a new theory for Hanson, as she is going on her 11th year of teaching, and has had great success as a teacher across several states.

“We’re military so we move around,” Hanson explained for her frequent state-hopping career. “I’ve been lucky finding jobs where we’ve moved.”

Although this is Hanson’s first year teaching in Destin Elementary School, she has taught previously in Niceville, as well as First Baptist Academy, a former private school in Destin now under the leadership of Rocky Bayou Christian School.

“I’m excited just to be back in Destin,” Hanson said. “I’m excited to get to know the families in this community, because I plan to stay here.”

Hanson has taught kindergarten, first, and second grade but said second grade is her favorite age group.

“I’m so happy to be in second,” she said. “I like that the kids are a little more independent but still love school, love the teacher and love learning.”

Aside from their love of learning, Hanson said she just enjoys the youthful enthusiasm, second-graders express.

“They are fun everyday,” she said. “They say something outrageous or funny and are just fun. I have a really great grade level so I’m really lucky.”

Hanson shared that reading is a school-wide push this year, and her classroom is following suit.

“Reading is a big focus in Destin this year, we just want them to get as much reading as possible whether it be reading to themselves, reading with their teachers, or reading in groups we just want them to really begin digging deeper into the stories.”

With less than a week to go before the halls become a bustling crowd of youngsters, Hanson is using the time to put finishing touches on her room and lesson plans.

“I just try to make my room really positive and show the kids I really care about them,” she said. “I also try to have a lot of parent communication so they feel involved in what’s going on.”