CHANDLER, Ariz. - The Chandler Unified School District’s summer break comes to an end on Monday morning. The district uses a modified year-round school year with a summer break that is only six weeks rather than the full summer.
Teachers have been preparing the past week for the new school year.
“We’ve had all week to be in meetings and get our classrooms ready. So we’re just getting everything ready for the first day of school,” said Arianna Mehl, who teaches first grade at Basha Elementary School.
Sharon Sheffield -- who teaches sixth grade at Basha Elementary School -- said this is the exciting part of the school year.
“My favorite time of the year. I’m excited to meet all my new students. It’s like a teacher New Year's because you can set new goals. You can reflect on the previous year and make any changes. It’s like a clean slate,” said Sheffield.
With each new school year come new strategies to help students succeed academically. Sheffield said she wants help teach her kids to empower themselves and develop the skills to figure out how to achieve their goals.
“We are trying to grow responsible citizens, not just good test takers. Really building these characteristics we want to see in our citizens will then transfer over and let them do well academically because we’re setting goals and creating mission statements of the type of individuals we want to be,” said Sheffield.
We asked the teachers and principal at Basha Elementary School what advice they would give parents to help their kids succeed in the new school year.
“Giving them that extra social support and positive praise. Say, 'You can do this. Do your best and that's what I expect,'” said Jessica Edgar, the school's principal.
“It's a fresh start and I want parents to look at it as a new opportunity for their students to be successful,” said Sheffield.
“If the kids are struggling, let them struggle. Don't be so quick to give them the answers. Have them use the strategies they've been using in the classroom,” said Mehl.
Every year, teachers love to see their students grow.
“First grade is my favorite grade to teach because you do see so much growth, especially with reading. They come in and know their ABCs and vowel words. They can barely sound out. When they leave, they can read 47 words in a minute. They have very strong comprehension skills. I love seeing the growth from beginning to end,” said Mehl.