HERRIMAN, Utah — Schools across the state are gearing up for back to school, and some teachers are back in their classrooms getting ready for the year.
“It never loses its excitement though, I’m always excited for a new school year,” said Herriman social studies teacher Kim Littler. “Making sure we have all of our supplies, it’s a lot of physical stuff – a lot of moving furniture around."
“We’re kind of interior decorators, of course lesson planning and really spending time to learn the specifics of our individual students,” said Melanie Hiatt, a health, dance and cheer teacher and coach at Providence Hall.
Hiatt said the whole “back to school” environment can get chaotic.
“Exciting but it’s always really hard to do at the same time. I’ve been teaching for almost 20 years and I still get incredibly anxious and stressed,” Hiatt said.
Nathan Marshall, Providence Hall's Executive Director, said dealing with the teacher and staffing shortage has been a struggle.
“Hiring and maintaining bus drivers has been our biggest challenge,” said Marshall.
School administrators say with the supply chain and shortage issues, it was harder to get electronics like macbooks and chromebooks on time.
With the challenges of rising costs, teachers are impacted as well.
“With inflation, cost of living and just cost of gas, everything is more expensive. So we’re having to be even more selective about the things that we are willing and able to provide in our classrooms and for our students,” said Hiatt.
Littler said she spends a “couple hundred dollars” on her classrooms every year, from her own pocket.
Marshall says all of the hard work they put in is worth it -- for the kids.
“We do a lot of things progressively through the summer to get the building ready, to get schedules ready, to get our teachers prepared," said Marshall. "The magic happens when everything comes together."