Students won't be the only ones a little nervous when the 2013-2014 school year begins on Monday.
Several of the nearly 50 teachers hired by the Appoquinimink School District this summer said they also had some first-day butterflies.
"I'm excited and looking forward to it, but it's also stressful," said Anthony Greenstine, a 2012 Ursinus College graduate from Cheltenham, Pa., who is starting his career as an English teacher at Appoquinimink High School last week. "It's going to require a lot of time management – being able to figure out how to grade, when to grade, how much to grade and when to fit in planning, sleeping, eating and living on top of all that."
Greenstine and the 48 other teachers new to the district this year got a taste of what they've signed on for during a three-day orientation last week.
Most of that time was spent introducing the new hires to the grading system, the student code of conduct, training in policies regarding harassment, attendance and grading, as well as using the district's various software systems, according to Debbie Panchisin, the district's director of elementary curriculum.
The new teachers were joined by returning staff on Monday.
"Everyone is very energetic and enthusiastic and willing to help, so I think it will be a great transition to the beginning of the year with all of the people I've met so far who have offered to be mentors," said Christine Hadfield, a native of Prospect Park, Pa., who is beginning her career as a music teacher at Olive B. Loss Elementary after earning her master's degree from the University of Delaware this spring. "I got a ton of training at all my programs at UD and when I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher was great. I've been in contact with her as I'm getting ready for the start of this year, so hopefully that helps."
Cosimo Faella, a Hockessin native and first-year freshman English teacher at Appoquinimink High School who graduated from the University of Delaware in May, said he expects to be both a teacher and student during his first year on the job.
"I love English and I always wanted to be a part of the classroom, so I'm looking forward to sharing what I know and learning along the way, as well," he said.
SUBHED: Dreams and inspirations
James Sekcienski, a Millsboro native beginning his career as a computer science and math teacher at Appoquinimink High School after graduating from the University of Delaware in the spring, said he's been looking forward to Monday almost his whole life.
"Ever since elementary school, I've always dreamed of being a teacher," he said. "As I progressed through the years, the only thing that changed was the grade that I wanted to teach, so when I was in third grade, I wanted to be a third grade teacher … then in high school is where I really found the fit for what I wanted to be. And I've always enjoyed math and computer science, so getting to share that with students and get them passionate about that, as well, is going to be great."
Page 2 of 2 - Hafield said she's also hoping to inspire students to discover a passion.
"For me, I always had inspiring teachers who really connected with me in school and made me have a love for learning," she said. So especially with music, I really want to instill in my students this lifelong love. Whether in school or out of school, I want to help them find a way that music is meaningful to them."
Greenstine said he's also thrilled by the opportunity to inspire students and help them discover new interests.
"Literature is just something I'm passionate about and want to make the students passionate about also," he said. "But I also really want to help students to learn and grow in more than just the classroom. I want to help prepare them to experience life as a whole."