SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – This month students and teachers are heading back to the classroom. And it’s not just the students’ first day either. For first-time teachers, the first day of school can also be nerve-wracking.
“We’re also nervous but we are prepared and we just got to get through the first day and it’s going to be great,” said Hannah Jensen, who will be an English teacher at Jefferson High School.
Just graduating from SDSU in May, Jensen is still getting used to the idea of commanding a classroom.
“Yes, being so close in age to high school students, especially 11th graders I know that it’s fun to, like, to talk with them about things that we have in common, but I am a little nervous about creating classroom management where they know that there’s boundaries and that just creating that respect so that we can get done what we need to get done,” said Jensen.
Although scary, it is equally as thrilling.
“I am most excited just to make relationships with kids. I feel I have such an awesome privilege to get to impact kids, especially 11th graders before they’re getting ready to think about college,” said Jensen.
Jensen grew up in the Sioux Falls area and says the teachers she had while in school motivated her to do the same.
“She was just so influential in showing me how special English can be,” said Jensen.
While she was in college she met Ashton Swift, who also got a job at Jefferson and will teach freshman biology.
“I love biology I love how it’s how you live and how you can be healthy and I hope that they are like oh my gosh biology, oh my gosh body is so cool,” said Ashton Swift, who will teach freshmen biology at Jefferson high school.
Swift says she is also anxious about managing the incoming students.
“Being young is definitely hard. I’m lucky I get freshmen so they’re still kind of like baby middle schoolers coming up, but I think that’s the fun age and I think it’ll be a good enough gap. But definitely classroom management is a scary aspect,” said Swift.
Although they may have feelings of anxiousness as the school year approaches, they are confident they can get through it together.
“The supports of our just teaching communities. Our department heads have been so great just giving us resources and getting us ready,” said Jensen.
Despite being fresh out of college, Jensen sees an upside in how she can impact her students.
“I loved my college experience. And I’m hoping that they are excited to ask me questions and I can prepare them to be successful in the real world,” said Jensen.
For Swift, she’s exactly where she thought she would be.
“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I just like making connections with people and seeing kids learn new things that’s always been really exciting for me,” said Swift.
The Sioux Falls School District now has nearly 25,000 students enrolled according to the U.S News and World Report and spans over 43 different schools from pre-school up to high school.