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New teachers excited for 1st day at Fairfax County Public Schools

They say even with the increased politicization of their profession, they're excited to get in the classroom for the first time.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — As some school districts struggle to find staff before the first day of school, some new teachers are excited to take on the challenge.

If you can grade first day prep by the number of books, then Ms. Taylor Taylor gets an A+... and her name is in fact Taylor Taylor.

"I've heard of a Terry Terry and a Jorge Jorge," Taylor laughs.

Monday will be her first day of class with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

“It's a lot to get ready for, but a lot to look forward to as well," she said.

She taught sixth grade in Texas for three years, but just recently moved to Virginia and is now taking on grade four.

“I'm excited," Taylor said.

As is Ava Minutello. She's a brand new Latin teacher.

“My favorite Latin phrase is--it's a term--it's cura personalis, which means care for the whole person," Minutello said.

RELATED: Changes in place for Stafford Co. students heading back to class

She and Taylor said you have to care to enter this profession, especially now.

“This is not a job for the faint of heart," Taylor said. "We have a lot of opportunity to make a difference, and with that opportunity comes a lot of hard work.”

Minutello hopes to build on her recent experience as a student to connect with her classes.

“I think what really drives me is, after all this time of being a student, I know that after everything normal stopped being normal, all you were left with especially in school is just the people and the community," she said.

The pandemic and increased politicization of the job is driving some teachers away, even creating a shortage.

“Suddenly, the job that you've wanted forever, has a lot has a lot more layers to it. So that's been sort of intimidating… especially because I'm a brand new teacher," Minutello said. "But [FCPS administrators] were very excited. They thought that being a new teacher was to my benefit. And so that was very encouraging.”

She and Taylor are inspired to take on the challenge.

“It’s like a whole new frontier… which is intimidating, but also very exciting," Minutello said.

“At the end of the day, what brings me back is just the kids," Taylor said. "I mean, it's so much fun getting to see them grow and learn and getting to be a part of that.”

They'll take it one day...one page at a time.

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