Back to rules: Parish teachers jump into lessons

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia Lower Elementary kindergartners were learning the rules on the first day of school. Teacher Ellen Yates, top right, reminds her students to be quiet. Jaida Lockhart and Grace Barr, top center, keep one finger on their lips and one hand on their hips when waiting in the kindergarten hallway. Jasmine Alvira and Jonathan Boyd, bottom center, learn the correct handwashing rules in the cafeteria. Classroom rules, at right, remind students to raise thier hand when they want to talk and walk, keep their hands to themselves and, above all, make the teacher happy.

VIDALIA — The first day of school was a rigid one for students at Vidalia Lower Elementary School as teachers dove right into teaching the rules and teaching the lessons.

But the students weren’t complaining.

“We are learning about spelling today,” 8-year-old Tyriq Boxley said. “And it has been going great.”

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Approximately 3,800 students in the parish had their first class of the year Monday, and teachers were wasting no time getting students ready for a long year of learning.

Boxley’s first day as a second grader in Monica Miller’s class at Vidalia Lower Elementary had him excited.

“I have been ready for this,” he said. “I can’t wait until we start math.”

Boxley said he climbed trees all summer long to pass the time until school started back.

“I even got to go to Texas on vacation,” he said.

Second grader Gary Whitley said he read during the summer to help get him prepared for the school year.

“I really love school,” he said as Miller continued to teach the class. “I love reading and writing stories the most.”

Whitley said his first day of school was going extremely well.

“I really like my teacher, and I like the spelling words,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get to the stories.”

Whitley’s classmate, 7-year-old Tranesian Crumpton said she can’t wait until the class starts to learn more about math.

“That is my favorite part because you get to write the numbers,” she said.

Crumpton said she is going to miss playing basketball with her friends like she did during the summer, but she is looking forward to another year of learning.

“My first day has been really good,” she said. “Everyone has been nice.”

Second grader Semajay Jackson said she was also excited about her first day at school.

“When we first got here we got to put out all the supplies,” she said. “Then we went right into our lesson.”

Jackson said she was anxious about her first day in a new grade, but that slowly changed as the day went on.

“I really like my teacher, and I’m ready to start reading and math,” she said.

Miller said her first day back at school with a classroom full of fresh faces went by better than she expected.

“Everything today has been very smooth, as far as first days go,” she said. “We haven’t had any problems, and the day has just flown by.”

Miller said she is excited for the school year ahead of her.

“This is only the beginning,” she said. “But I have a very good class, and I have been very impressed so far.”