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      Heartland teachers prepare for new school year

      School supplies are purchased, seating assignments are chosen, and classrooms are cleaned. The only thing missing is students. Teachers at the Kirksville Primary School have been getting ready for their new students all this week or longer.

      We TMve been in here for about two weeks now. We TMve really been 7:30 in the morning til 5:00 at night, said Truman State University intern Stephanie Mills.

      You clean and you sort and you decide what you TMre going to keep and what you don TMt need any longer, said second grade teacher Debbie Lechner.

      Debbie Lechner has been at the Primary School since its start 12 years ago.

      She even has an intern who will co-teach through December.

      Everybody that I TMve spoken to says ~Oh I had Mrs. Lechner TM or ~I know someone who had Mrs. Lechner TM and they just lover her! said Mills.

      Mrs. Lechner has been with the district for 24 years and even this veteran faces challenges.

      Staying current, because it TMs been a while since I TMve been in school, said Lechner.

      Mrs. Crisp moved down the hall from second grade to first.

      So coming down to first grade I have to remember that they're not at a second grade entry level," said first grade teacher Anitra Crisp.

      But each teacher has their favorite part of the job too.

      Meeting the kids like today at sneak-a-peek planning creative activities for the kids to have fun with to learn with, said Lechner.

      It TMs really fun to see that click in their heads all the new things that they TMre learning, said Mills.

      My favorite thing is seeing the ~a-ha TM moments when a kid is struggling to learn how to read or to learn a math skill and they finally get it. That is my absolute favorite part about being a teacher, said Crisp.

      When it comes down to it, teachers and students are a lot alike.

      I am so excited for tomorrow I just can TMt wait. I probably won TMt sleep tonight, said Crisp.