CHARLOTTE -- About 600 new teachers are gearing up for their first year at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Enthusiasm filled the air Tuesday as CMS' new leader, Dr. Heath Morrison, cheered on the bunch during new-teacher orientation.
"I love it. I love the family feel of it. All of the support that I have and that they provide to new teachers is absolutely wonderful," said Alicia Prigge.
Some teachers said they feel confident they're working for the very best.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to work in a title one school with students with special needs. I'm excited to be a leader to them and a role model to them," said Kaylin Ranagan.
But the new year won't come without challenges. Morrison said the expectations are higher than ever.
"You've got increased common core standards which are new learning standards, you've got technology thrusts, you've got kids who come in at various levels of readiness so you need to be able to differentiate," said Morrison.
All of that isn't scaring off these new teachers. They said they're ready.
"It will be a lot of work but it will be worth it," said Prigge.
Morrison said if the new group remembers anything he said Tuesday, he hopes it's the Four P's.
"Be passionate, be professional, be productive, but don't try to be perfect. I want them to feel that they can make mistakes. Learn from them. Don't try to be perfect but just try to be excellent," said Morrison.
While there's a lot to take in, teachers said walking in to a room full of smiling faces will make it all worth while.
Teachers are setting up their classrooms this week. The first day of school is Aug. 27.