Albert Lea teachers prepare for day one

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 1999

In the unmistakable style of a pure veteran, Peggy Bennett unpacked an A, a B and a C.

Saturday, August 28, 1999

In the unmistakable style of a pure veteran, Peggy Bennett unpacked an A, a B and a C. Packed away since May, Bennett knows where the learning material was stored. Barren just days earlier, her first-grade classroom is now just about ready for a hoard of noisy little people who find comfort in 14-inch wooded chairs.

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Time isn’t that generous, but preparing a classroom for the start of a school year is an art teachers seem to enjoy.

She smiles and talks about the new school year, which starts Wednesday, with fellow first-grade teacher, Mary Peterson.

&uot;Every spring we have to put everything away and in the fall we have to put everything back,&uot; Bennett said.

The teachers are not just busy readying their classrooms. Each student must have their name written on their lockers. Before students arrive lesson plans are organized.

&uot;It’s a lot of work,&uot; Bennett said. &uot;We need to work on scheduling our Title I people. Tomorrow (Thursday) we’ll have a lot more meetings.&uot;

An all-staff meeting was also held Friday at the high school.

Fresh off summer workshops, Sibley teachers were able to choose either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday for their first day of preparation time.

The prep day is described as an eight-hour day, but both Bennett and Peterson know better. But neither objects to the hectic routine.

For teachers, this is a time of anticipation.

&uot;It’s very exiting for me,&uot; said Peterson.

She’s a long-time district teaching veteran, but this year is a somewhat new experience. Because of the elimination of a first-grade class this year, Peterson moved from Halverson Elementary School to Sibley.

&uot;I’m very excited,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s new for me because I’m coming from a different school. But my two boys went to school here. I know the staff. They are a wonderful.&uot;

School start

Superintendent David Prescott said while facilities appeared a bit disheveled this summer because of the varying construction projects, each site is ready for school.

&uot;So far everything is going well,&uot; he said. &uot;I haven’t heard of any major problems. The teachers are back and working ahead. The buildings are in good shape and the bus schedule is up and running.&uot;

He cautioned parents and students to remember safety is very important during the school year.

&uot;We hope students and parents will be careful and safety conscious,&uot; he said. &uot;Parents should practice the routes to the bus and school with their children. I encourage parents to make every effort to attend conferences on Monday and Tuesday.&uot;

At the conferences, parents and students will meet teachers and are able to tour the buildings.