Not only are thousands of kids heading back to school today, some teachers are also walking into a classroom for the first time as leaders.
Oklahoma City Public Schools has several new teachers who will be standing up in front of a classroom for the first time today and though some say it's intimidating at first, it's also incredibly rewarding.
Paige Bricker is a first-year teacher at Capitol Hill Elementary and she's been working hard the last several weeks to get her classroom prepared for young minds to walk through the door.
“It's really rewarding to see them learn so much,” says Bricker.
For some first-year teachers, it can be hard to decorate a classroom on such a low budget, but many local companies work to make sure these schools have enough supplies to function.
“I like to have a decorated classroom but I am more concerned about making sure I have the right supplies in my room because my room can be really cute but if you don't have the right supplies then it can be difficult to teach,” says Bricker.
On a budget, supplies and decorations can become expensive very quickly so some teachers have created go fund me pages or have gone to local businesses for help.
Luckily for Paige, the college she went to has a teacher closet where she could gather some supplies to help her get on her feet. Paige graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in January. One of her professors, Bruce Belanger, created a closet where recent graduates with teaching jobs could go and pick up some extra decorations and supplies for their classroom.
“People donate all those supplies like businesses so that was really helpful as a first-year teacher,” says Bricker. Bricker also had help from the company her father works for.
Anderson Plumbing donated backpacks for all of her students this year because a lot of them didn’t have bags to carry their books in last year. Even though, the school system has seen its fair share of problems, Bricker says it's the students that make it all worth it.
“I know that I have a passion for teaching and I feel called to be a teacher and so I think that’s what gets me through it,” says Bricker. Bricker says her biggest advice to first year teachers is to not be afraid to mess up and ask questions because there are many veteran teachers who can lend a hand.
If you want to donate to the schools, some of the most needed items are Kleenex, Clorox wipes, Pencils, Copy paper, Crayons, and Hand Sanitizer. And to help to help out just a few hours, a grand opening will be held for Feed the Children's Teacher Store. Teachers are allowed to fill a bag full of free supplies and collect books.
Feed The Children's Teacher Store at NW 3rd and Meridian is open from 8:30 until 3:30 on August 1.