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COLD SPRING – It's back to school time, whether it's loved or hated, it is inevitable. 

Jill Smith, the art teacher at Charles W. Sandman Consolidated School in Cold Spring, can't wait until the bells ring and classes are back in session. Smith loves teaching so much that she teaches art classes all summer long at The Barn in Upper Township. If that's not enough Smith teaches after school too.   

While the pupils are enjoying their last days of summer vacation, Smith is busy prepping for those students. Creating lesson plans, researching and trying out art projects are a few of the ways she prepares for the new year. 

Smith's final days of summer are spent picking up supplies that are not provided by the school and prepping her classroom. Her passion for education and art are evident by the huge smile on her face. 

Smith can't wait "to see the kids' faces" and those yellow buses back in action.  

She explains "kids really like the routine and structure, they love seeing new teachers and friends."  

Smith explained that teaching has changed over the years. Teaching is more creative allowing her to try new things. Finding time to implement those new techniques has been the challenge.  

There are more tests and evaluations than when she began her career so finding the time to fit everything in has been difficult.

With classes right around the corner, Smith wanted to share some tips for making this year a successful one.

1.  Sleep.

2. Good nutrition for retaining information.

3. Have fun. "School is a mix of fun and learning."

4. Take Risks. "Try something you think you are 'bad' at. It's usually just inexperience, so once you do it, you may be great at it."

When asked about goals for the year, Smith smiled and said, "We may take the art club to a major museum, a dream come true for me."

To contact Johanna Hovik, email jhovik@cmcherald.com.

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