Gresham-Barlow teachers prepare for a new year and new students

Gresham-Barlow teachers prepare for a new year and new students

Back to school is a busy time of the year, not just for students, but teachers as well.

“There are just so many things to get ready at the beginning of the year,” Dr. Sandy Duty, a fourth-grade teacher at Hogan Cedars Elementary School said. “I love school, I love teaching, I just can’t wait for everyone to show up and be a part of Hogan Cedars!”

Dr. Duty has been teaching for 35 years and puts a lot of thought into setting up her classroom -- even where her students sit.

“I have things I like to do. I like to put my kids in these table groups,” Dr. Duty said.

She says the seating, while it may seem simple, can make a huge difference.

“This way, every child feels like they belong to the classroom and belong to the school and they always want to come to school,” Dr. Duty said.

Down the hall, Mrs. Kristie McKenzie is getting ready for her fifth graders.

“I love the nervousness they have when they walk through the front door and getting to calm their fears,” Mrs. McKenzie said.

Teachers don't just teach, they also learn. Mrs. McKenzie says she's ready to use what she’s learned over the summer.

“I can’t wait to have my kids be 100 percent engaged at every level, whether they are a struggling reader or top of the class reader,” Mrs. McKenzie said.

Both teachers say their best advice for students on the first day of school is to show up with a positive outlook.

“Come with an open heart and willingness to learn, and meet new people, school’s fun, learning is fun, it's cool to be smart!" Mrs. McKenzie said.

Gresham-Barlow School District heads back to school next week.

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