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Third-grade teacher Merredith Smith unpacks boxes Tuesday in her new classroom at Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School. She is returning to teaching after two years at home raising her son and is glad to get the numerous boxes out of her basement.Third-grade teacher Merredith Smith unpacks boxes Tuesday in her new classroom at Henry A. Coffeen Elementary School. She is returning to teaching after two years at home raising her son and is glad to get the numerous boxes out of her basement.

Last weeks of freedom

SHERIDAN — Every year around this time it happens and yet it always seems to catch kids off guard.
In just over two weeks, school will start again. Read that sentence again and let it sink in: two weeks.
To prevent the first day from sneaking up on you like a rattler in a marsh, we got the lowdown straight from the teachers on how they will be, and how you should be, preparing for school in the last two weeks of summer freedom.

Merredith Smith
Third-grade teacher
What should they do? I think one of the biggest things is to spend time reading. Whether reading on your won, reading to a sibling or reading to a parent, that reading is so important so that they can hit the ground running when they get back in the classroom.

What will you be doing? It’s a lot of sleepless nights thinking about all those excited kids that are going to show up on the first day and making sure I make it their best year ever. Just preparing for them to come and making sure I have a place for everyone, welcoming them into the building and the room, so we have a great start to the year.

Jana Goldhammer
3-5 Special Education teacher
What should they do? What I would expect my kids to do is enjoy the outdoors. Run and play and swim and fish and camp and do whatever they need to do now because they need to be ready on day one. Enjoy the fresh air now and when the first day gets closer start to focus on your education and what you want from it and where your path will lead you some day.

What will you be doing? I will spend my month getting our new school prepared and making sure we are ready to hit the ground running on day one, getting familiar with the building, going through my materials and making sure I have what I need. It’s fast and furious once it starts so I need to be ready.

Kristen Burnett
Fourth-grade teacher
What should they do? I hope they are enjoying their last days in the pool but I heard the district does a lot of great programs like summer school and reading clubs in the park so I certainly hope they’re reading as well. They should be getting geared up, the supply lists are in Wal-Mart right now, so I hope they’re getting their stuff together and getting ready while still enjoying their last couple weeks.

What will you be doing? Well first of all this is my first year in Sheridan. I taught for 9 years in Arkansas before but there is a lot of newness to learn here. So, I think for the last couple weeks of summer I will obviously be preparing my classroom and getting ready for my students to arrive while also immersing myself in the curriculum and learning the things that are new to Wyoming.

Brenda Atkinson
First-grade teacher
What should they do? I hope my students are getting excited for the new building. I hope over the summer they have continued to read and are excited for new staff members and the first day.

What will you be doing? For one thing I am trying to get my classroom ready and also spending my last couple weeks with my son at home. We have to do some planning with my first grade team and make sure I have everything so I’m ready to go.

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