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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A wave of new teachers will enter local classrooms with the start of the new school year.
Leanna Burbrink, a 1st grade teacher with Clarksville Elementary School, checked lesson plans on Friday and wondered what her first graders will look like. Natalie Johnson, a 2nd grade teacher, posted pictures asking how to make it all make sense. "Oh I am super nervous," Johnson said.
Together the new faculty from Clarksville Elementary school has one thing in common -- Monday marks their first day of school as teachers. As Burbrink puts it, "The whole task we're trying to complete on the first day is getting their supplies in their desk, which seems so minute, but the kids come in with like Clorox wipes and Cleanex and 15 glue sticks."
Johnson explains, "My family, there's teachers in it, and I was always inspired by their students, coming to them in the grocery store and on streets and coming up and saying you made a difference in my life."
New collective bargaining laws and tying teacher evaluation and pay to their students' test results prompted many educators to leave the classroom. 3422 teachers retired in Indiana this year.
Three teachers retired at Clarksville Elementary School with a combined 100 years of experience in the classroom. There are five first-year teachers on campus. They've got some big shoes to fill.
Principal Kathy Gilland says energy doesn't trump experience. "You just can't replace that overnight. Those things that take trial and error we are getting energy and fresh ideas....We have in place a mentoring process so they are in a grade level with experienced teachers and they get to plan together."
For Burbrink and Johnson, it's time to put their education to the test. Burbrink explains, "First grade, that's when they learn how to read, so if anyone walks out of my classroom without knowing how to read that would be a real disappointment."
Clarksville Community Schools has 10 first-time teachers throughout the corporation this year. Half of them are replacing retirees.