It’s that time of year! Backpacks are getting stuffed with new notebooks and sharpened pencils, lunches are being packed and school buses are getting gassed up. Yep, school is back in session. And while back-to-school time is all about the kids, and rightly so, there is another group of people going through the same rush of nerves and excitement, trying to get out of summer vacation mode and make a good impression on that first day: teachers!
Ever wonder what teachers do on their summer break? Or if they have just as much trouble waking up early as kids do when the new school year begins? And what about back-to-school shopping, what do teachers buy?
Alaina Tudman, or Mrs. Tudman as she is known inside the classroom, teaches engineering, design and robotics to 7th and 8th graders at Gaston Middle School. It’s her second year teaching this high-tech elective at Fresno’s newest middle school and she’s got big plans for the year. In fact, she spent much of her “summer” taking classes, fine-tuning her lesson plan and coming up with fun projects for the 150 students that will fill her classroom.
Fun Fact: Each student in Mrs. Tudman’s class has a robotics box to use during the year. There are 36 boxes containing 18,000 parts each. That’s 648,000 pieces she had to sort and organize before the start of the school year!
Here, Tudman talks about why her summer break started with video games and cereal, why she still gets nervous on the first day of school, and how teachers shop when it comes to buying for the new school year (for instance, purchasing dozens of tennis balls on Ebay to quiet noisy stools and save her sanity).