MARTIN COUNTY — Murray Middle School teacher Logan Hendrix started off the school year with ice-breaker exercises to get his civics students' minds working.
Would they rather have fingers as long as their legs or legs as long as their fingers, Hendrix asked his second-period civics class.
The prompt sparked a debate among eighth-graders Cailen Jones, Marcus Rogers and Komorian Wynter.
“I chose fingers as long as your legs because I can mess with my siblings from a distance,” said Cailen, 12.
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Martin County School District, which has 16,629 students enrolled, returned from summer break Wednesday to fully in-person classes — the closest to a "normal" first day of school since 2019.
"Everything is going really smoothly," district spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo said earlier in the day.
Schools Superintendent John Millay visited classrooms at Murray Middle School in Port Salerno as students learned about their teachers and peers.
Hendrix shared photos of his German shepherd, wife and Bitmoji — a cartoon version of himself dressed in blue Tampa Bay Lightning gear. Managing middle school students can be a challenge, he said, but he aspires to have them learn through creative means, he said.
“I like that they’re starting to understand sarcasm, I’m a sarcastic person myself,” Hendrix said. “I like to have fun with these kids. They’re starting to get curious and creative.”
Millay stressed how the first day of school sets the tone for the rest of the school year.
“Having that great start, setting that bar and being very clear about what our goals are… and letting parents see that our schools are a safe and positive environment, that’s a big win,” Millay said. “Regardless of your background, regardless of your academic level, we want every child growing.”
Buses may run late as drivers and students get used to routes and routines. For transportation issues, call 772-219-1287.
For general district information, call 772-219-1200.
Colleen Wixon is the education reporter for TCPalm.com. Contact her at Colleen.Wixon@TCPalm.com or 772-978-2235.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: First day of school: Martin County students head back to class for a new year