McLaurin Elementary teachers get ready for fun first day of school

Published 12:10 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

NATCHEZ — On Monday, Kit Spears and Felicia Mann will welcome approximately 25 kindergartners each.

And they’re going to do it in style.

The Gilmer McLaurin Elementary teachers were hard at work Wednesday, along with the rest of their co-workers, getting their rooms ready for the first day of school.

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“You want it to look fun when they come in,” Spears said.

The two had to make sure everything was just right. Mann said it’s “just a lot of planning and preparation.”

At the end of the 2014-2015 school year, Mann said she and Spears organized their rooms and then covered everything up. When they came back, they were able to clean up and make sure nothing had fallen down.

After that, it was just planning activities and adding a few more welcoming touches.

For some kindergartners, the first day of school is the first time they’ve been away from their homes and families. Both teachers agreed things can get emotional for parents and children on the first day.

“I think the parents have a harder time than the kids do,” Spears said.

Mann’s Teacher Assistant, Dorianna Quinones, said sometimes it can get intense.

“Last year we had a mom and a kid,” Quinones said. “They bawled their eyes out.”

Spears said they do their best to reassure parents.

But on Wednesday afternoon, all of that was in the future. At the moment, bulletin boards were the name of the game.

For Spears’s bulletin board, she picked a musical theme.

“We’re doing rocking into Kindergarten,” Spears said.

While Spears selected record cutouts, her teacher assistant, Janie Dunbar, was hard at work covering the bulletin board in green butcher paper. Dunbar said they were going to add children’s names in later.

“Because that’s what they like to see,” Dunbar said.

Quinones decorated the bulletin board outside Mann’s classroom with bright colors and pictures of children.

“Just something to let them know we’re glad they’re here,” Quinones said.

It’s a welcoming sight for the students, but while some children might be nervous, there’s only excitement amongst the teachers.

“You always look forward to the beginning of a school year,” Spears said.