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Back To School

Michelle Barrier

Burke CountyMichelle Barrier


For most students and teachers, as I write this article at the end of July, going back to school is not something they want to talk about yet.  I have to say, though, that I am one of those rare teachers that gets bored in the summer and can’t wait to get back to school.  I spend the majority of my summer break either working on lesson plans, finding new materials to make my lessons engaging, or attending classes and workshops to make me a more informed teacher.  I love lots of things about school, but I especially love being around my students and getting to know them.  As the school year ends each year, I am just beginning to understand all their quirks and have learned so much about them on a personal level.  And then the final bell rings for summer break and they are gone.  I miss them like crazy and pray for them every day – that they are happy, healthy, and safe when they are away from me and our school in the summer.

It won’t be long before that first bell of the new school year will ring, and our students will be back in the classroom.  Walmart and Dollar Tree already have their school supplies out and it makes me itchy to buy shiny, new school supplies!  As an elementary school teacher, I would like to ask you to do a few things for me (and your child’s teacher) this year:

  • Try your best to attend your child’s Open House and Meet the Teacher night – this gives your child a HUGE sense of relief to know exactly who to look for on the first day.
  • Please do not go out and buy lots of school supplies before you see the actual list from your child’s teacher. Yes, stores like Walmart do have lists from your school. However, if they are like my school, that list is very generic and covers four 4th grade classrooms. What one teacher in 4th grade may really want you to have or not have may be very different from another 4th-grade teacher in the same building.
  • Be generous if you are financially able. There are students that will not bring anything to school from the supply list, and teachers will have to fund those supplies out of their pocket.  If you are able, buy a little extra and donate those items to a classroom.
  • Your child’s teacher wants your child to be as successful as you do!  Start out the year on a positive note with that teacher and show your child that you are a team and want to work together for your child’s success!
  • Lastly, I would ask that you PRAY for your child, your child’s teacher, and his/her school. Commit to praying for something different each month.  Perhaps this month it will be that the new school year will open without any problems and that your child will have a caring, compassionate teacher that loves to teach and learn!  Maybe next month you could pray for the administration at your child’s school or the Cafeteria staff.  Any and all prayers would be fabulous!  And, if you do not have a child in school, I would love it if you would pray for me and my students at Gamewell Elementary!

I hope that all students, teachers, and parents have a fantastic rest of the summer and a wonderful opening of the 2019-2020 School Year!


Michelle is a 4th grade teacher in Caldwell County. She attends Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Morganton