Teaching: The untold story of getting ready to go back to school

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From the day after the last school year ended until the first day back, teachers put in far more work than you think.

“Right before school starts I’m always thinking, ‘How do I do this again?’” asked Kyley Nocton.

Not that she forgot.

Nocton just feels a mixture of excitement and the weight of teaching second grade.

"Here at this school specifically we create all of our curriculum," said Nocton.

"So if you were doing a curriculum in one of the units and you’re like, ‘You know, I think next year I want to try this,’ there’s already that added pressure that this is going to be another first year that you’re trying it. And how are the kids going to perceive this and learn from this? So that pressure, of course."

This makes year three for Kyley at the Center For Inquiry School 2 in Downtown Indy.

With day one just two days away, her prep looked familiar.

"The materials already have their names on them. I have their classroom jobs with their names," she said.

But it’s what we don’t see that speaks to a teacher’s heart.

"A lot of times people are like, ‘Well, you get summers off. You have those six weeks off.’ However, I know my colleagues and myself maybe take that one week to recharge," she said.

"The other five weeks we’re looking for things for our classrooms or for myself. You know, working part-time jobs."

Some of Kyley’s colleagues took on jobs as nannies, worked in gardens or libraries.

And it was not to pad their pockets.

"This summer I was a professional dog sitter and house sitter for a couple families around the area," said Nocton.

Teachers use the extra money to buy extras they find essential for the kids.

Thousands of books in Kyley’s classroom library came from Goodwill and yard sales.

"So that money might come out of my own budget or I might take the time to write a grant," Nocton said.

"A lot of my flexible seating has been through some grant work."

Not to mention the classes she takes and education articles she studies over the summer.

"Just to make sure that I’m still that educator that I need to be," said Nocton.

Her focus is on our kids and their learning.

And for payback?

"It would be nice to always be someone’s favorite," Nocton said, laughing.

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