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Teachers work to wrap up school year


Kristy Smith and Angie Garrison, fifth grade teachers at Tharptown, discuss supply lists for next year as part of t heir year-end wrap up. These are just two teachers who spend their summers getting ready for next year. | Melissa Cason/FCT


THARPTOWN – Tomorrow the final bell of the school year will ring, but while students are relaxing this summer, a teacher’s work has just begun.

Tharptown fifth grade teachers Kristy Smith and Angie Garrison say the end of the year is the most hectic time and they spend the summer getting ready for the next school year.

“It is like a mad house here at the end of the year,” Smith said. “We have tons of work to do on top of providing educational activities for the students during the final days of school.”

Cleaning the classroom, taking up textbooks and finalizing grades are just a few of the chores teachers are faced with at this time of the year.

“We also have to list things that need to be fixed in the classroom and give it to the principal and we have to get our supply lists ready for next year,” Garrison said.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much work it is.”

Garrison said once the final bell rings, many people just assume teachers are off work for two months and come back only just before school starts.

“We work all summer long,” Garrison said. “We have to get our rooms ready for next year. If we need things painted, we have to do them. We are lucky we get to paint our rooms, but it’s still a lot of work to it.”

Smith said she copied enough reading tests for this year last summer from the copy paper she had left over from last year.

“This year, I still have the tests, and I’ll do something else to make it a little easier when classes resume in August,” Smith said.

Garrison said teachers have to work hard in the summer to make sure everything runs smoothly during the year.

“Anything you can do ahead of time helps out because if we are not ready in August, the year is lost because when you get in this classroom, you’ve got to be ready to roll,” Garrison said.

Garrison and Smith say they are not alone during the summers at school.

“Most teachers here work in their classrooms during the summer,” Smith said. “Teachers at other schools may get months off with the kids, but the ones we know work during the summer, too.”

All this extra time in preparation comes without an extra paycheck or extra recognition.

“We teach for the children,” Garrison said. “Teachers don’t teach for the money. As with any profession, we take our jobs very serious and do whatever it takes to be ready regardless if it’s recognized or not.”