Teachers Gear Up For School

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All this week, a meeting room at the Freeport Library becomes a classroom for local teachers. Teachers heading to the real classroom for the first time this fall...and getting some final pointers. "How to manage your classroom, how to use the standard base report cards that they are going to use on-line," said Teacher Mark Blackely. That's just a taste of what Blackley and 33 other new Freeport teachers are learning this week...during eight-hour daily sessions. "Your kind of beat by the end of the day, but I guess that's how it will be by the end of the school day, so got to used to that," Blackely said. There's instructional videos, presentations...even textbooks about what they didn't teach you in college. Plus a chance to talk with veteran teachers about life in the classroom. "They're going to have a session called Tips from the Tenured. So were going to have a group of experienced teachers talk about what it's like in the classroom," said Pat Norman, Human Resources Director for District 145. These are all welcome opportunities for new teachers like Blakley, who will settle into this 2nd grade classroom at Blackhawk School. The 23-year-old from Lena still has a few boxes to unload...but he's feeling pretty good about the first day. "The induction has kind of relaxed me a little bit. I'm not so worried about getting things done for the first day," Blackely said. It's confidence he and his peers will need once these halLways and classroom fill up with kids.

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