Local News

First-year teachers feel jitters ahead of new school year

Posted August 25

— On Monday, thousands of kids will head back to school in Wake County, but in addition to it being the first day for students, it will also be the first day for 354 teachers.

"I'm a little nervous. I'm obviously nervous," said Katie Shiewe, a first-year teacher at Lincoln Heights Elementary School. "There are a few things I'm confident about, and there are some things I need to keep learning and keep trying at."

Shiewe said she has wanted to be a teacher as long as she can remember.

"I've had people question that. You know, 'You're not going to make any money. You're going to have a crazy schedule,'" she said.

Like many educators, rookie teachers aren't in it for the money.

"I've always loved working with children, and I knew I wanted to make a difference somehow," said Jere' Wilder. "I want (students) to feel encouraged and feel confident."

To ease the nerves, first year teachers don't fly solo. They have a network of support from fellow teachers and administrators.

Lincoln Heights Elementary Principal Kim Grant said new educators bring a fresh perspective to the classroom.

"When you look at the practices they've learned and the things that are a little bit newer, they're a little bit more comfortable with technology often, not always, and they're able to engage in a different way," Grant said.

When Monday arrives Shiewe will be learning alongside her students, but she will leave her mark in the classroom.

"At the end of the day, I want them to walk away from my classroom and know I will always be there for them," she said.

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