MIAMI (CBS4) — Public schools start next week, but a special group of teachers is already getting to work.

It’s the first day of orientation; the day 350 brand new Miami-Dade School teachers have been waiting all summer for.

“Nervous, I’m definitely nervous, but I’m really excited to meet the kids and just get in there,” new teacher Kristen Pavon told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.

Pavon desperately wants to be a good teacher. She’s going to teach 4th grade reading and writing in Goulds at a struggling school.

“To get these kids engaged, and get them learning and making the growth goals that they really need to make.”

She’s so committed to helping kids in low performing schools that she’s taking on this career, even after recently graduating from law school and becoming a licensed attorney.

“There’s no middle man, it’s me and the kids, making an impact and you can see it immediately,” said Pavon.

She knows it won’t be easy. She’s heard horror stories.

“A substitute teacher was locked in a closet. I’m hoping not to get locked in a closet,” said Pavon.

“A million thank yous for the decision they made in terms of becoming teachers,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. Carvalho wants the new teachers to consider themselves dream makers.

“Inspiring them, really having them believe that they have the ability to fundamentally change the outcomes of children’s lives,” Carvahlo told Zea.

It’s a huge job, with a small paycheck. Teachers in Miami-Dade Schools have not had a raise for nearly three years. Carvalho said he wants to change that.

“This is going to be the year where we’re going to do our very best to honor what they do and do our very best to load the salary increase. They deserve it.”

Pavon hopes that’s true, because she can’t pay back her law school loans with her students’ dreams.

Considering the huge budget crisis and layoffs the school district has faced in the last few years, Carvalho is happy he could hire any new teachers. They’ll experience that nerve-wracking first day of class on Monday, August 20th.


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