Becky Steinbach, a second-grade teacher at , began her 27th year of teaching on Tuesday. Her first day of school started off with a heavy dose of adrenaline as her classroom of 28 students entered the room with their parents.
“I’m a third generation teacher, my mom even gets that feeling when she sees the yellow school busses driving around town and when the back-to-school bins at the store come out, and she’s retired,” she said. “I’m the same way.”
Second-grader Matthew Siler, her first student, walked into the classroom with his dad Nick Siler.
“Do you remember where your desk is?” Nick asked Matthew.
“I do,” he said, walking over to one of the middle desks.
Taking boxes of Kleenex and school supplies out of his backpack, Matthew and Steinbach talked about whether his mom would be bringing him to school and if she would be picking him up afterschool. Matthew says he’s walking home so Nick asked if he’ll be OK with that, and Matthew responded that he’s ready for the task.
Nick held out his hand for a high-five.
“I get so excited about school that I don’t get nervous,” Matthew said. “I get the most excited about reading.”
“That’s good,” Steinbach said. “We’ll be doing a lot of that today.”
Steinbach asked if Michael remembered his blue folder in the cubbies just outside room 60. After he found his folder, the other students poured into the room and Steinbach told several boys – including Logan Rasch and Nolan Boerner – to gather around the whiteboard to find their names on the list. They poke the board to indicate whether they would be buying a hot lunch or not.
The other parents gathered together, standing at a distance as they took their last pictures, walked to their students, and offered up their last hugs. They watched as Steinbach directed their children to their chairs.
And just like that, the 2012-13 school year began.
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