MUKWONAGO — As the summer winds down and students get ready for school, teachers are furiously putting on the last touches in their classrooms to get ready for that magical first day.
"You're never done as a teacher. My list today just keeps growing and growing and growing," said Lindsey Smith, a sixth grade teacher at Clarendon Avenue Elementary School in Mukwonago.
It's common to think that teachers have summers off, but that's actually when a lot of the prep for the school year begins.
"It actually starts at the end of last year," she said. "You're researching different things. You're getting together different curriculum."
The same goes for second grade teacher Kristin Bradford. She and Smith teach together.
"Many hours prior to when we have to come into the classroom. A lot of labeling. A lot of organizing, decorating," Bradford said.
It's a combination of curriculum, organizing, buying supplies and so much more. Separately those might be quick to do; however, it adds up in the end. Bradford and Smith said it takes them a few weeks to get ready. Even then, there is always that one thing that slips through the cracks come the first day.
"On the first day, there is always something that comes up and thought you should have done it and you forgot to do it," Bradford said.
"The night before school I could never fall asleep, and that has not changed as I have gotten to be a teacher." — Lindsey Smith
Although these teachers have experienced countless first days, they still get some butterflies when that initial bell rings.
"The night before school I could never fall asleep, and that has not changed as I have gotten to be a teacher," Smith said.
Right now, the hallways of Clarendon Avenue Elementary are quiet, but after the Labor Day Weekend, they will be filled with clanging lockers and stomping feet.