LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — It may be the first week for Loudon County students, but teachers say they have been preparing for the upcoming school year all summer long.
Loudon County began the school year on a staggered schedule. All students will be in the classroom together on Friday. The hope is that the staggered schedule will allow for both the students and the teachers to adjust to the new school year.
“I think it was around the beginning of July that I was like, ‘okay, let’s start to make the calendar, let’s start to plan this out. What do we do, what do we need to focus on?'” said Kimberly Callais an English and journalism teacher. “This is my 12th year here at Loudon High School.”
She said that the beginning of any school year starts with reflecting back on the previous year.
“I always want to make sure I’m doing my best and it’s always hard to kind of, you have to take a step back and reflect on what worked and what didn’t.”
Kristi Correa, a Spanish Teacher at the school, is also a veteran in the classroom. She has been teaching for 16 years and knows every year comes with new challenges.
“Every student learns differently, and so, we really have to figure out how we can make it easier for them, what can we do to make them learn better,” said Correa.
Both teachers said that planning begins way before the school year.
“Making sure that we have our syllabus ready, making sure that all of our procedures are very clear for our students when they come in, they know exactly what to expect from them from day one,” said Correa.
Loudon County teachers are given around $200 every year for school supplies through the Basic Education Program (BEP) funding, but those dollars only go so far especially this year due to inflation.
“I did notice it was a little different,” Callais added. “The price of expo markers seemed to be a little higher. You just go to hit those sales and that tax-free weekend to kind of make ends meet the best that you could.”
When asked if she ever goes over that budget and has to spend some of her own money, Correa replied, “definitely, I probably do. Not too much but I add little personal touches.”
Both teachers say it’s the price they’re willing to pay for their students to feel comfortable in the classroom and have the supplies they need to succeed. They also added that they try to not ask for a lot of supplies from their students every year. However, basic items like paper, pencils, pens, hand sanitizer, and tissues are always welcome.