Back to school: A look at how teachers prepare for the start of - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Back to school: A look at how teachers prepare for the start of the school year

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Kennewick, WA -  It's a busy time of year for families getting ready for the start of the 2016-2017 school year, and teachers are putting the finishing touches on their classrooms.

NBC Right Now caught up with local teacher, Nikki Gray, who will start her first year of teaching at Southgate elementary in Kennewick. 

"I have a big bulletin board over here, that says let your light shine, its going to be for students to post their work that they feel really stood out to them," said Gray.

Gray is a Resource Teacher, which means she will work with children from all grade levels. 

"I just want to create a fun learning environment. Ever since I got hired in May, I've been thinking of what I want to do with my classroom.  It was automatically Pinterest, making my 'reading tree', everything really, thinking about how classroom to look, what do i want my rules to be," said Gray.

From a reading corner, covered by a 'reading tree' made out of butcher paper, to inspirational quotes around her classroom, Gray says she wants her students and the parents of her students to know that her classroom is a safe learning environment.

 "I want parents to know that us teachers are so happy to be here, we are so invested in the kids, we are here for the them," said Gray.