Teachers, parapros, principals reminisce on most memorable first days of school

Published 5:35 pm Friday, August 4, 2017

Whether you are a child entering Pre-K for the first time or a teacher with years of experience under your belt, the first day of school is always a memorable and monumental moment in your life.

Teachers, Paraprofessionals and principals from around the Decatur County School System have shared some of their first day memories with The Post-Searchlight.

“My most memorable first day was four years ago here, my first day as principal,” said Jamie Ard, principal at West Bainbridge Elementary. “You’re nervous, because it’s your first day and you want everything to go perfectly. I was very nervous I was going to leave something out. You have 550 or so kids in your care, and it’s a big responsibility, plus the staff. You want things to run smoothly with it just being your first time.”

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Ard said at the end of that first day, he felt relief. The school’s goal was accomplished: keeping the kids safe.

“To be honest with you, four years on, I still get a little nervous,” Ard said. “It’s a big responsibility and I take it seriously. I have a lot of people’s kids in my care, so I don’t want to mess anything up.”

To Ard, a successful first day of school is keep the kids safe, feed them and send them home safely.

“If you do that, you’ve been successful,” he said.

Ard  was a classroom teacher from January 2002 to the 2013-14 school year, then moved over to principal at West Bainbridge Elementary School.

“My most memorable first day was my first day at Bainbridge High School. I was terrified. I had heard all the rumors about riding the elevator, and being a freshman. I was coming from a Christian private school, and it was just a true culture shock.” –Janie Reynolds, Pre-K teacher at Elcan King Elementary School

“The most memorable first day I ever had was my first day of going to Hutto Middle. I came from Attapulgus and I had to transition to riding the school bus with other kids from other schools and counties. I was shorter than most everyone in my class and was very shy. I had a nervous excitement during that time of transitioning.” – Betty Burke, Pre- K Paraprofessional at Elcan King Elementary School

While at times the first day can seem scary, it is the first step in your journey of maturity and becoming independent. We have all done it and we are all excited for the kids who are beginning to take those first steps as well.