School activity begins long before first day of school

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A member of the Nacogdoches High School Band practices his trumpet, hitting a sour note or two, but willing to continue working toward perfection. He knows  the note to a good start in school is preparation. Students and educators, some, not all, are in full gear to starting the new school year. Those in extra curricular activities started working hard the first of the month.

A few surprises are left. Schedules were handed out to upper classmen today. Students huddled around each other comparing class schedules.  " Almost all her classes are with mine," said one very happy sophomore. It always helps when you have almost all your classes with a good friend.   But as quickly as students snatched up schedules, some made changing them a priority.  " If you'll write that down on there for me and I'll make that change, " said a counselor to a student. Counselors mustered up their patience and went to work. Their advice is to catch mistakes early " I didn't have a 7th period, " said one student. The other advice is to have a game plan. Counselor Rose Ammons said,  " You need to come to the counselors office, sit down and talk to your counselors about their goals for their students and let the counselors work with the parent and the the students to get the courses they need for the goals they set. "

Meanwhile across the hall teachers attend workshops from the sleepy eyed sexual harassment talk " Combat sexual harassment before it takes root, " said the film's narrator. One teacher dozed off. It may not be from disinterest, but from a lot of unpaid overtime. Teachers often come in early and stay late to prepare classrooms.

Others were learning how to use construction paper to introduce new words to non English speaking students. Teachers quickly learn the advice can be used to instruct all students, no matter what language they speak. Director of Bilingual Education Dan Stanley said,  " We're talking about kids who have English as their only language, but they may not have the vocabulary that they need to understand the concept that is being taught. "

All teachers are required to take the instruction. Their willingness varies. One teacher quickly exiting the seminar said after 35 years of teaching there's not much more she can be taught. Others know an attitude of wanting to learn every day makes work more enjoyable.