(Tim Jaynes, Staff)
Judy Scherer, principal at Portageville Middle School, said she goes shopping every year with her daughters, one of which is a teacher at Wardell.
"We always do it this time of year -- I guess it's just a habit," she said. "And I'm all about the purses and the shoes."
Phyllis Daniel, a third grade teacher at Lee Hunter Elementary, said she's gotten her back-to-school haircut, in addition to buying new clothes, shoes, and even a new bag.
"I've been doing a lot of shopping and hitting the specials," she said.
Also like students, new supplies are essential for teachers.
"I'm deciding how to organize my room and working on that," Daniel said.
Several other teachers were doing that at Craftmasters on Thursday.
"Usually after the Fourth of July they are ready to start thinking about back-
to-school," said employee Tammy Coleman. The store attracts teachers from all over, some from as far as St. Louis or Paducah, Ky.
Thumbing through the racks was Sherry McGill, a first-year kindergarten teacher at Fisk. Her classroom is empty, so McGill planned to stock up.
"There's so many decorations," she said. "It took me 30 minutes to find a calendar."
McGill was also debating between a zoo, farm, or monkey-themed room.
Several teachers do find a theme, Coleman said, whether it's schoolwide or their own. This year, western-themed rooms are a huge hit.
McGill wasn't only spending money on her classroom, either. She is also getting a few things for herself.
"Going from college to the classroom, you've got to have lots of appropriate school clothes," she said.
Teachers start getting anxious about the beginning of the school year around this time, Hobeck said. "They get excited about coming in and getting their class lists," she said. "And they're working in their rooms, getting things ready."
Shopping for those supplies is exciting, too, Coleman said. Other must-haves include bulletin board supplies, stickers, storage containers, resource books, postcards and name cards, she said.
Administrators not only get their clothes and supplies, they also get letters, class lists and other things ready.
Most teachers and administrators organize their classrooms and offices before school begins. Some spread that to their home. "I make sure everything is pretty well organized at my house," Scherer said.
Whenever teachers get back together, they're also talking about their summer vacations and what happened -- new haircuts, boyfriends or engagements. "There always seem to be some changes over the summer," Hobeck said.
And, just like students, teachers can get butterflies at the beginning of the year, too. A book about those, "First Day Jitters," is a popular item at Craftmasters as well. Coleman said: "It's really cute."