Gearing up for another school year
Abby Brossart’s third grade classroom at Little Flower School has one unique feature over the other rooms in the school.
A fish tank.
“Yeah, the children know this is where the fish live,’ quipped Brossart, who last week was preparing her room for the start of another school year which begins this Wednesday, Aug. 25.
The goldfish, which spent the summer with Brossart at her home in Lakota, were swimming in familiar surroundings last week in the classroom’s tank.
You could say they were keeping Brossart company as she was getting her room ready.
“As soon as I get into the room, I get excited about the new year,’ said Brossart, who has taught at Little Flower for the past five years. “It’s a lot of work, but to see those kids’ faces when they come into the room for the first time and look around is rewarding.”
Abby figures she spends about 35 to 40 hours designing and assembling bulletin boards, cleaning desks and other work areas, and planning course work for the students.
“I always get that butterflies in my stomach feeling on the first day…that anticipation of a new year and getting to know new students,’ she said.
Eight are registered for Brossart’s class. “I’ve had as many as 15,’ she recalled.
Brossart said that a smaller class size allows for more one-on-one time with the students and engaging in more discussion on subjects.
Across the upstairs hall, Julie Mosher was also busy getting her room ready.
“I love this time of year, preparing for a new year,” said Mosher, who enters her fifth year at the school.
Her classroom will be far busier with 19 students in a combination fifth-sixth grade section. Low enrollment was the primary factor in school officials deciding to combine fifth and sixth grades into one room.
“It’s certainly going to mean lots of challenges, but there are also many positives,’ Mosher said. “It will be an exciting atmosphere and there will be more students sharing ideas.”
Seven of those students were in Mosher’s room last year, so they will spend a second year with her. Of course, they will also have new faces to get to know as last year’s fourth graders move up to fifth.
Other Little Flower teachers came and went throughout the week to prepare their rooms, and secretaries and administrators had their to-do lists as well.
Over at Rugby’s Ely Elementary, Alyson Schepp, Title One teacher, was one of a number of teachers getting their rooms ready.
“There is something about a new school year…a fresh start that is exciting,’ said Schepp who enters her 10th year at Ely.
Down the hall, Jennifer Bartsch, kindergarten teacher, was also putting together bulletin boards and planning lessons. Bartsch said it was a bit more challenging this year to prepare her room due to all the summer construction in the building.
“In previous years, I was able to do a little bit here and there, but this year, I had to wait longer to get into the classroom (because of the construction),’ she said.
Teachers and staff were not the only ones busy in the building last week. Contracted electricians were scrambling to finish wiring rooms and hallways to install new light fixtures before the first bell rings on Wednesday, Aug. 25. It was part of an extensive building improvement project there which included installing new windows and entrance doors.
While there is plenty of work to do, the staff is just as excited about the first day as the students.
“It seems to always come faster every year,’ Schepp said. “However, it’s always fun to see the kids return.”
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