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First day of school is not just for the kids
by Larry Wilson
Aug 25, 2008 | 560 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Monday was not only the first day of school for many kindergarteners and first graders in Washoe County. It was also the first day of school for more than 250 new teachers to Washoe County School District. This was a result of many teachers retiring to take advantage of the lower cost Public Employees Benefit Program, which is the state’s insurance program. Teachers retiring after Sept. 1 will no longer be eligible for enrollment in this program, which is a tremendous savings over what Washoe County School District was able to provide in the way of insurance coverage.

As a result, there are a tremendous number of new smiley faces in the halls of Washoe County’s various schools. It’s too bad that so many teachers retired, but from a managerial perspective, with a big turnover, implementation of new programs and procedures should move along rather smoothly. We don’t want to crowd the boss the first day of school now do we?

Teachers tend to get a “nesting” urge in their classrooms and it’s good to move around from time to time, if for no other reason than to shake off the dust. Not only that, but new, rosy-cheeked teachers are overflowing with great ideas to teach Johnny and that’s exciting as well. I can just about assure you 100 percent that the county’s supplies of midnight oil and elbow grease have already been secured by these new teachers. Johnny is the direct beneficiary of all this nervous overwork on the part of the new teachers, but that’s good. That’s how the new, rosy-cheeked teachers develop experience and Johnny learns to love school.

Many of these new teachers are from states and maybe even countries other than our own and that’s good for the students as well. These new teachers have probably traveled extensively and are more than willing to share their travels with students. The pluses far outweigh the minuses here.

As new teachers, Washoe County is experiencing a savings right there as the new teachers are paid less than experienced teachers. In that sense, Washoe County School District is getting a bigger bang for the buck in hiring these new teachers as well.

Many of these teachers, I understand, are coming from other areas of work. They’ve always wanted to teach and now they have a chance. With that career change, these teachers bring that experience to the classroom that they can share in a very meaningful, and practical way with Johnny.

I think all the kids will have an exciting, meaningful and, I hope, rewarding 2008-2009 school year.

Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at
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