Broward teachers prepare classrooms for upcoming school year

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Educators are gearing up for a new school year across Broward County.

Teachers were back at Fort Lauderdale High School on Monday, reorganizing and getting classrooms ready for the first day of school.

Byron Montenegro has been an educator for 32 years, spending 17 years at Fort Lauderdale High School. He teaches marine science.

“My expectation is motivation since the first day,” said Montenegro.

There was lots of activity at Virginia Shuman Young Montessori, where fourth-and fifth-grade teacher Michelle Frails was busy putting things in place.

“The first thing you do is you come in early and you purge,” she said.

Frails gave Local 10 News’ Hatzel Vela the ABC’s of back-to-school and classroom readiness.

It was also a chance to get a sense of where the teaching profession is given the added stressors, and the politics that have now permeated the classroom.

“It can be difficult but it’s very rewarding,” said Frails.

Frails has been at the same school since it opened in the mid-90s.

With new standards and rules, she said having good administrators and collaborating with other teachers makes a difference.

And she had no qualms in saying the politics and laws coming down from Tallahassee have an effect in the classroom.

“It does make you cautious of the relationship that you have with parents and students,” she said. “It puts us on our guard, which is not a natural thing, especially in the elementary level.”

Back at Fort Lauderdale High, veteran educator Nori Suarez has been teaching for more than 30 years. He now teaches honors anatomy and physiology.

“Every 10 months, that you can absolutely start again, start fresh, tweak it, do it a little bit better,” Suarez said.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.