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Teachers ready rooms for classes

August 13, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Not only does Kim Adams, 22, of Middletown, Md., consider herself ready to start her first year as a teacher but she has been planning to do this job since she was in first grade.

Adams said Thursday while setting up her kindergarten classroom that she decided in first grade that she wanted to teach kindergarten, she said.

Adams said that while growing up, she used to "play school" with her sister, telling her: "You are going to be the student and I am going to be the teacher."

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She is one of about 150 Washington County Public Schools teachers attending the New Teacher Academy, a two-week program at which they receive training, help and advice. The program ends Aug. 18.

Thursday was the first allocated time in the academy schedule for teachers to set up their classrooms, although Adams and other new teachers at Winter Street Elementary School said they already had done some work on their classrooms.

Adams said she modified some of her plans for the classroom, such as the location of some student work stations, on the advice of people she met during the academy.

In the classroom next to her, another new teacher, Kirsten Brewer, 22, said she has done a lot of planning as she considers different arrangements for her kindergarten classroom.

She said she's a bit nervous, but takes comfort in knowing there's a support system is in place for teachers and a clear systemwide reading curriculum.

Her main goal for this year is to ensure students discover that learning is enjoyable, Brewer said.

"I want them to really love school and love learning and love exploring and have a true desire to learn," she said.

Compared to those of Adams and Brewer, the walls in Brian Orndorff's second-grade classroom are a bit bare but he has an explanation for that. He was married on July 17.

Orndorff, 23, and his bride, Sheri, a new teacher at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, are setting up their classrooms, moving into their apartment and attending the academy, he said.

Tony McDonald, 38, who will teach third grade at the school, had determined how he wanted desks in the class configured and was working Thursday on setting up other parts of the classroom in a "student-friendly" way.

McDonald, who previously worked as the head of planning for an engineering firm in College Park, Md., made a career change to go into education at age 34.

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