Madison teachers prepare for new school year

Madison teachers prepare for new school year

(WAFF) - Back-to-school is a rush not just for kids and parents, but teachers as well.

Teachers all across the Tennessee Valley are getting ready for the first day of school.

WAFF followed two teachers from Madison City Schools: one experienced and one a starter, as both prepare to teach your children.

"I want them to remember the lessons they were taught, but I want them to remember the feelings that we created in our classroom together." said Wende Tate, who is getting ready to get her first ever set of students, this year at Columbia Elementary School.

"Being a part of this school and community has just been such a great honor and joy so far." Even so, Tate didn't get here the conventional way. She started in marketing and business and found that wasn't her true calling.

"I just kept feeling this pull on my heart." Tate says her real passion is helping children.

"I just knew this is what I was meant to do, what I was called to do, and from the moment I've been hired here, it's been nothing but joy." continued Tate. "It's exciting that it's over too because the process of putting together is very daunting from the beginning, but now that I've seen the final work, I know my students are going to love it."

As Wende Tate prepares her classroom at Columbia Elementary School, over at Bob Jones High School, Kent Chambers is doing the exact same thing, but in a different way.

"I get excited every time I come back to Bob Jones, every time I come back to the classroom. I just love working with the kids." Kent Chambers is a seasoned vet in the classroom, teaching math for 33 years, all at Bob Jones.

"I try to teach them math, I do pre-calculus, but I also try to, you know, teach them things of real life along the way." said Tate.

Not much has changed in Chambers's classroom set-up, except for technology.

"It's good that we can pull anything online here that can apply to what we're studying as well." said Chambers.  "When I first started preparing, I was scared to death, I was scared to death. I started teaching when I was 21 I had some students that were 19 so I had to get that separation. But as I have gotten older, I wouldn't say wiser, just older, and learned a lot more, I just feel like I have it prepared every year I'm ready to go."

Chambers calls it a blessing when he sees his students succeeding. "Of course, you know you have certain students that are going to make straight A's every time no problem, and then you got those that struggle when they come in and then you see them get it, and you can just see in their eyes and you can see it in their face and that makes it all worth it then."

For first year teachers like Wende Tate, Kent Chambers has this advice: "Be yourself, don't change what your beliefs are. If you believe strongly in something, stick with it and love the kids, love the kids and they'll love you back. You're not their best friend, you're not their best friend, you are their teacher, but love the kids and they'll love you back."

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