WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Students spend more awake hours at school than they do under their own roofs, and essentially form a second family under the care of hardworking teachers. 

Just as you prepare your child to enter the doorways of their classroom, teachers put countless hours, energy, and money into making sure they have a safe and enjoyable experience and the effort doesn’t go unnoticed. 

A shining example is those at West Liberty Elementary, dedicating their creativity and time into providing the best environment for their new students. 

Kids have proven within the last few years that they can learn from anywhere and are capable of so many amazing skills under the guidance of great educators. 

Mrs. Lackie’s classroom fully self-furnished, complete with flexible seating that sparks a reaction from everyone who walks in. 

”Lots of whoa, look at this. I heard a lot of parents say, this doesn’t look like any classroom I’ve ever had.”

Brandy Lackie – 4th & 5th Grade Math Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

It’s a teacher’s own creativity and passion that influences young, impressionable minds and that is just what Mrs. Lackie’s classroom, and the newly renovated Makerspace complete with Cricuts, printers, and craft supplies both do to provide an extra set of skills. 

”I think it’s important at their age to encourage creativity, but also at my age and all ages to be creative.”

Summer Timms – Second Grade Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

This relationship doesn’t come without hard work. 

It’s not often realized how much time, energy, and money goes into preparing these spaces straight from the teachers themselves. 

”It is a long process. I remember when I was getting stuff off of Facebook Marketplace, I’d bring it all back to my basement and my garage was just full of stuff.”

Brandy Lackie – 4th & 5th Grade Math Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

”It was always in the back of my head to do this over the summer because I knew it was going to be a longer project. It was finding good prices on bins, or thinking about what we want to have on the walls or how we’re going to use the color schemes, how it’s going to look in the end when it’s all done.”

Jennifer Litzenberger – Kindergarten Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

It takes all of the small details down to every last thought to make for a successful school year, and this process goes way beyond school hours. 

”One of my former residency students always made fun of me, she said, ‘I think Mrs. Lackie just thinks of all these lesson plans in her dreams,’ and she’s not wrong. I do. I wake up sometimes. I’m like, ‘I have got to remember that.’ I need a little notebook next to the bed to write stuff down.”

Brandy Lackie – 4th & 5th Grade Math Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

”I spent probably than I would have liked, probably 30-45 minutes, picking the font that I like, thinking about the sizing, measuring everything and making sure it fit. Then after that, whenever I came in to actually put it on the cases, that took me probably about four hours.”

Summer Timms – Second Grade Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

Ultimately, the work that teachers do behind the scenes is for one reason and one reason only. 

Mrs. Lackie has frames of each student holding up an image of what they want to be when they grow up displayed like a family would in their own home and she saves them to give them back to them when they graduate. 

”It’s really cool to see what they want to be and they love looking around and seeing like parts of themselves incorporated into the room. And that’s something that’ll be up all year. This just completes that family feel that we have in this classroom and definitely in our school.”

Brandy Lackie – 4th & 5th Grade Math Teacher, West Liberty Elementary

Next time you see your teachers, show them a lot of love because they surely have put love into prepping everything to have the best school year yet.