STRAFFORD, Mo. — Sarah Kilmer is going into her 11th year as an elementary teacher at Strafford.

Preparing a classroom for a new school year is a fun and exciting time for teachers, although Kilmer says it takes quite a bit of planning.

“My room and my materials and stuff are just the way you want it. I have kind of a system of doing the way I want it,” Kilmer said.

Each year, Mrs. Kilmer re-organizes her entire classroom and says she wants her students to experience something new.

“I am a big fan of not doing the same thing over and over and over again because it gets boring for me and boring for my kids,” Kilmer said.

Mrs. Kilmer states to KOLR 10 she is constantly looking for things to add to her classroom.

Before the store closed down last year, IPA Educational Supply in Springfield was a place teachers from all over the Ozarks would go to but Kilmer says she finds things in places you may not expect.

“Teachers find stuff all over. Sometimes it comes from my closet and sometimes I see something at Walmart,” Kilmer said.

Mrs Kilmer said as much fun as it is preparing for the first day of school, she still gets butterflies.

“I think teachers probably come in just as nervous as the kids that first day, there are so many things that are going through our mind like, you know to get done that day. We wanna make sure that everyone feels welcomed and have a great time when we get here,” said Kilmer.

Despite the nerves, she credits the other 3rd-grade teachers for constantly being there for each other when things get a little stressful.

“Strafford is fantastic, I don’t think I would want to work anywhere else, my team is fantastic. We’re friends outside of work and it’s crucial to have those relationships. There are some days when you just need to laugh about it. I just need someone in the corner who gets it.”

The school year in Strafford kicked off on Monday and Mrs. Kilmer says she looking forward to another great year.