The hallway floors are buffed, the windows cleaned and the gym not yet smelling of sweaty socks. The first day of the school year is just a few days away.
Inside the schools, teachers are already hard at work prepping classrooms in anticipation of the kids arriving.
The particular classroom Corinne Toews finds herself in may be new, but the routine sure isn’t.
Starting her 25th year as a teacher, Toews is a fresh face this year at W.F. Ready in Regina’s southeast teaching grade seven to eight.
There are books being placed on shelves, tables set up for groups, spaces for individual learning and an inspiration wall which students see when they first walk in.
“It is just all about having a learning space that meets a greater majority of student needs,” Toews explained.
She described the prep work she does as far more than simply hanging some posters on the wall.
“I’m the bus driver, so kids can’t get on to a bus that doesn’t have a map and a plan and a schedule,” she said. “You’re designing and creating learning experiences and environments that allow students, whether they are four or 14 or 24, to still maintain that curiosity.”
Many people would become jaded after more than two decades in a job, but Toews’ enthusiasm is infectious, especially about the first day of school.
While filled with anticipation about the year ahead she maintained it is her job to ensure that the first day of any school year is one for the memory books.
“It’s still sort of up to me to make sure that picture is painted well for them and that there are a lot of experiences that they’ll remember. Your enthusiasm as a teacher, your planning as teacher will be contagious for them when they arrive.”
For her inspiration, Toews looks to the Rubbermaid tote in the corner, filled with 25 years of thank you notes.