HISD Teachers' First Day of School

School starts a week from today in the Houston School District, but today was the first day of the school year for the district's thirteen thousand teachers, about a thousand of whom are new to HISD. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell talked with one of the newbies.

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HISD teachers started early to get their classrooms, and themselves, ready for the 200 thousand plus students who start school next Monday. They're in meetings learning the ropes at their school and what's expected of them. Amy Lott is a brand new teacher, fresh out of college, and she's ready now.

"I've always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I always used to play school when I was little, and I just really like having the effect when I see that I'm doing something positive in kids' lives, and I just get a lot out of it. I can't picture myself doing anything else."

Ms. Lott will teach English as a Second Language at HISD's new Mistral Pre-K Early Childhood Center. She's worked as a teaching assistant at several schools, and she did a lot of student teaching in college, so she feels confident about school starting next week, but she's not 100 percent confident about something she has to do this week.

"I think the only thing I'm nervous about is a teacher meeting that we have tomorrow, because I'm going to be standing in front of all these parents, alone."

Lott thinks Pre-K is the most important grade level of all because it's a child's first experience in a classroom situation, and her job is to make it a positive experience. All HISD teachers will make an average of 8.6 percent more money this year, and get bonuses of up to $3,000 based on their students' performance. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.