Teachers prep ahead of first day of school

Posted at 11:31 AM, Aug 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-26 11:31:13-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich,– As students savor the last week of summer vacation, many teachers are back in the classrooms getting ready for a new school year.

It doesn’t even have her name on the door yet, but teacher Megan Persons is moving into her new classroom.

Persons is an English teacher at Innovation Central High School in Grand Rapids. She feels fortunate to have the chance to work where she grew up.

“I’m a product of GRPS, 1st through 12th grade and I always knew I wanted to come back and teach here,” Persons said.

“To have the ability to teach in the building I used to play sports for right next to the building I used to attend is a really unique opportunity for me to give back to the community and the school district that served me so well.”

It’s the last week of summer vacation, but Persons can tell you it’s been anything but.

“There is a misconception that teachers don’t necessarily work or work hard over the summer, but I can assure that I’ve been working with the people in my department and across the district to prepare myself and prepare the district to get ready for these students.”

Once she gets back into the classroom, Persons will put in 10 hour days or more. Ten hours are devoted to just setting up her room.

A recent survey published in Forbes says teacher spending is going up every year.

Last school year, teachers spent about $513 of their own money on classroom supplies, instructional materials and books for their classrooms.

Persons sees it as a valuable investment.

“If you were to come in here on any given day, you certainly wouldn’t just see them sitting and reading and writing all the time,” Persons explained.

“We’re up, we’re moving. We’re doing projects, we’re on the computers. Just a variety of things to make sure they’re engaged and ready to learn.”

The first day of school for many West Michigan public schools is September 2nd.