First year teacher plans for first day of class

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The halls of Henderson Ward Stewart elementary school in Starkville are quiet.

Each room is empty– waiting for next week’s back to school rush.

Except for room 103 where first-year teacher Shanika Parker is preparing to meet her class.

“It’s very exciting…and scary…I’m very nervous,” said Parker.

Parker, a recent graduate of Mississippi State University, said she’s always known what she wanted to do in life.

“When I was in third grade, my third grade teacher, her name is Ms. Palomino, she really invested her time in me and challenged me to be the best student I could be, so I just wanted to give back to students. Ever since that day, the first day in her class, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” said Parker.

In a few days time, this new teacher will welcome her new students to the fourth grade.

“This is my first time teaching, and this is their first time in the fourth grade, so I really want them to know that it’s ok to make mistakes and that we’re both going to make them and that we can grow from them,” said Parker.

With the first day of class right around the corner, there’s no time to waste.

“I’ve been printing things, cutting things, laminating, gluing, putting everything up in the class and getting all my lessons together and going through the curriculum trying to prepare myself,” said Parker.

However, Parker hopes to teach her students more than just what’s in the curriculum.

“I hope they learn all of the things I’m supposed to teach them and that they’re prepared for the fifth grade and that they’re better people and they’ll grow up to be good adults and good citizens and that they’ll remember all the lessons and fun things we’ve done in the class,” said Parker.

… and maybe even inspire a future young educator along the way.

“I like to think of my young self, eight-year-old Shanika, I like to think about her and how excited she is. So, I’m very excited to be living my literal dream of teaching. So, it’s going to be awesome,” said Parker.

The first day of classes for the Starkville School District will be August 7.

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