Teachers prepare for a new school year

By Brandi Bailey

August 29, 2013 Updated Aug 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The first day of school is just days away for students in New York State and that leaves teachers feeling the pressure to make sure they have a plan.

At African Road Elementary, Keli Jones is putting the final touches on her second grade classroom.

"You start pretty much after the kids leave in June. We start sending things to print shop and start thinking about what books you want to read over the summer and collaborating with my co-teacher and discussing what we want to talk about," Jones said.

New York State has also added new requirements that have forced teachers to hit the books themselves.

The first day for students is Sept. 4.

"We have math modules now that they state gives us so my math teaching is going to be completely different," Jones said.

Teachers also spend the last days of summer working to decorate the classrooms with posters and learning materials.

"You want to make sure it's a good learning environment and so that you feel prepared so you can answer all the questions," Jones said.

Jones and other educators say preparing lessons to expand student minds is a top priority.