At Fair Street School’s temporary location at Wood’s Mill this morning in Gainesville, kindergarten teachers Brenda Beal and Janice Trowers will be teaching classroom procedures, while over at Lyman Hall Elementary, second-grade teacher Roxie Miller will be taking roll call.
Today is the first day of school for both Hall County and Gainesville City school systems, and while most students will never know, it’s the first day of a new job for some of their teachers.
Beal, Trowers and Miller were all nervous as they waited to meet their first-ever classes at open house events last week, but their nervousness was mostly due to making sure the students would adjust to the new classroom environment.
“They’re babies,” Trowers said. “I’m new and so are they, and then they’re leaving their parents for the first time, most of them. You want them to feel at home, to feel secure, and you don’t want them to feel as nervous as you are.”
Johnson High School teacher Kristen Cash said she doesn’t have the same amount of nerves with teaching high school students, mostly because they’re at the age where they can get right into the academics.
“With older kids, I have the best of both worlds,” she said. “I can delve into the content that I enjoy and I also get to work with the older kids and teach them to appreciate that as well.”
All four were ready to put what they have learned into practice.
“We’ve been taught,” Beal said. “This is actually coming out of the gate and making it work, making it happen.”
“It’s just community building, and letting them know that in here, we’re a family,” Miller said. “What happens outside of school isn’t as important as when you’re in school. When you’re in here, you’re safe and you’re loved.”
So while the teachers work on their first-day jitters, Cash’s advice to students is to just relax.
“Don’t feel too overwhelmed,” she said. “If you’re so nervous and so anxious about this new experience, you’re not going to enjoy it.”