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Student teacher returns to same classroom as a full-fledged educator
Christina Mincey, along with Caitlyn Mincey, said her fellow teachers helped her get ready for her first day on the job last Monday. - photo by Photo by Sandi Van Orden

Christina Mincey spent months preparing for her first day of school as a new teacher.

Mincey, a second grade teacher at South Effingham Elementary, said she was nervous and excited for the first day.

“I’m very excited, but also nervous because it’s a new experience completely by myself,” she said. “I’m ready. I’m prepared. I’ve worked all summer to prepare.”

Mincey said her fellow teachers were helpful while she prepared for the first day of school.

“They have just taken me under their wings to help me in any way they can,” she said. “I have a great mentor, Suzanne Sucher. She was the lady I student taught with. She’s really helped me in becoming who I am.”

Mincey is teaching in the same room she did her student teaching in and said Sucher, who now teaches reading recovery, left her many things for the classroom.

She said she chose to teach in Effingham because of her experience with the system.

“It’s a great school system. I heard people talk about it, and I did my student teaching here,” she said. “When I arrived it was just amazing.”

Mincey said the challenges she expects to have are making sure she has enough time to give individualized attention to her students. She also wants to work with other teachers who have been in the field longer to ask for their advice.

Mincey said she knew since she was young that she wanted to teach and during college decided to teach second grade.

“I’ve been thinking about this since I was a little girl,” she said. “I always wanted to do it. I love kids, and I want them to learn. It’s a fun field.

“This is a great grade because the students still love you, and want to please you,” Mincey said. “It’s an exciting grade because you can do so many hands on still, and they still want to learn. The parents are very much involved at this grade as well. I’ve noticed that, but throughout Effingham it’s like that.”

Mincey sectioned her room to group math, reading, writing and parts of speech in various areas, and placed beach decorations around the room.

“I wanted a beachy theme because I love the beach, and so I wanted it to feel comforting, and something fun the kids can enjoy,” she said.