Nassau County students head back to school

Teachers prepped for big day weeks in advance, anticipating students' return


NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – Back to school time is here and Thursday morning, students in Nassau County are heading back to the classroom.

It's not necessarily the first day back for teachers. They've been hard at work preparing their classrooms and lesson plans for at least the last two weeks.

So many teachers pour their hearts and souls into getting ready for the first day of school, for a successful year with your children. We found a few of those exceptional teachers at Yulee Elementary School.

"I've probably been to the Dollar Tree, Target and Walmart about 10 times since I've been in here because you forget things, you need more," said fourth-grade teacher Lisa Dutschke.

Mrs. Dutschke has been working in her classroom getting ready for the big day, for the past two weeks.

"It's exciting... It's overwhelming… You know you have a whole classroom to get ready for but you know every year is a fresh start and teachers look forward to that," said Dutschke.

Teachers do it all to make sure all bases are covered before the first day of school. From cutting out lesson plan materials, hanging signs, decorating bulletin boards, to getting a plan in place to make sure students feel comfortable and safe their first day back.

"The thing is, we make it really exciting for them here and they're really excited to come down here because we have so many different activities; we have them work on computers again, we have their games, we have some teacher directed centers where they don't feel like they're being pulled out and alone," said fourth-grade special education teacher Lisa Weaver.

Weaver is one who pours her heart and soul into teaching children in Yulee. For the past 20 years, she's made this her livelihood. She's one of those teachers so dedicated, she couldn't hold back emotion when asked her why she does, what she does

"I've had my masters for quite a while, and I've had the opportunity to move on and be in administration, but when you're in with the types of children I teach, I get really close to them and I want to see them succeed and I don't think that there is anybody who wants to see them succeed as much as I do," said a teary-eyed Weaver.

Weaver said the first day of school every year never loses its excitement. An opportunity to build bonds with students she can't wait to see succeed.

"It's just really exciting to see them move along. I have children in this school system too and they move along with my children and in the end when I see them graduate, it's just really exciting and a lot of people don't get that opportunity and when I do I just get really excited," said Weaver.

As Mrs. Weaver mentioned, she got her Masters not too long ago, and she did that with her mom who also taught at Yulee Elementary School for 34 years. After they graduated with that together from Jacksonville University, they had the chance to teacher for two years in the same classroom at Yulee Elementary School.

Mom's since retired, but she was in the classroom Wednesday, making sure Mrs. Weaver's classroom was up to par and that the closet was clean.