COON RAPIDS, Minn. -- Kids in District 11 returned to school this week but they were not the only ones coming back to a familiar place.
Teachers got a fresh start on a new year, and for one at Adams Elementary, a new job is bringing back old memories.
Two days into her new job, Adams kindergarten teacher Shelby Funfar said it's been an exciting start to a new year.
"I think I was more nervous than the kids coming in and I was anxious but it went well and it was a lot of fun," Funfar said.
The recent Winona State University graduate said she has always known she wanted to teach. "I really wanted to be a teacher to make school fun for those that are learning and don’t enjoy school," she said.
Although it's her first week on the job, the hallways and classrooms are familiar surroundings.
"It's where I went to school, nice building so yes, this was actually my dream job."
As an Adams Elementary graduate, Ms. Funfar said she can relate to her students who are in the classroom for the first time.
"I had to do the same things. The expectations haven’t changed for walking through the hallways ... I shop at the same stores (as the students), we go to the same places and so we’ve had exposure to the same things.
Funfar's fourth grade teacher, Tammi Renee Hatch, is now a coworker, with a classroom just down the hall.
"Shelby was a very quiet student. Very respectful, always did what was asked of her, good listener, always willing to help other children," Ms. Hatch said.
Hatch said she is proud to see one of her own students return as a colleague.
"It's exciting to see her learn and grow and see her set her classroom up last week, and I’ve talked to her everyday about how it’s going and how the kids are, Hatch said.
"I’m learning and growing with the students as well," Funfar said.
"I just want to accomplish the goal of having them enjoy learning; being excited to come to school and not saying 'I can’t,' but figuring out a way to do it and being OK with coming to me for help." "Because ... learning is a lifelong process."
Funfar said it was a nerve-wracking hiring process and now having the job, she hopes to stay at Adams throughout her career.
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