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AISD offers support to teachers dealing with first-year pressure

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:54:12 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 10:15:11 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Students aren't the only ones with anxiety on the first day of school. First year teachers also feel the pressure. This year Abilene Independent School District welcomes 60 new educators.

22 year-old Ashlin Bowman has been getting her classroom ready for about 20 first graders. Unique about this school year, both Ashlin and her students are experiencing first grade, for the first time.

"I haven't had a group of kids that were my own that I'm implementing routines and procedures from the very beginning," Bowman said. "I've always kind of stepped in to someone else's model so I'm kind of having to take that responsibility upon myself now."

Being a first year teacher has it's share of pressure.

"Not having anyone else in the classroom to kind of model those things for me and that I'm the one in charge," Bowman said. "That's definitely a big task to take on."

For the fifth year, the Abilene Education Foundation helped by giving first year teachers $150 for school supplies and classroom decorations.

It cost Bowman about $600 to decorate her room.

Veteran teachers who have been in Ashley's shoes say they are also happy to help integrate new teachers.

"As a veteran teacher I do know that I need to be available to (Bowman) for any questions she may have, and just to be there for her to say its okay you can do this, just keep calm and continue leading on," First grade teacher Kelli Allen said.

"Keep calm and continue leading on" is also the motto for Taylor Elementary this school year. Bowman said being the new kid on the block has it's upside.

"I'm excited to see what kids I get in my class where they all come from and how we get to create a classroom community together," Bowman said.

AISD goes back to school on Monday, August 26. Taylor Elementary is expecting over 100 first graders alone.