Dear First Year Teachers

Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 26: Dear First Year Teachers

     It would be easy for me to write a letter to first year teachers, with all my suggestions for things to do that first year.  I'm sure some things that would make it onto that list would be to collaborate with others, ask for help when you need it, enjoy your first class, forgive yourself for mistakes, etc.  But, today I was talking to someone who has always seemed to say that things I needed to hear.  She was not aware that I had this post to write for the Big Time Challenge, and yet somehow she inspired the letter below.  

Dear First Year Teachers,

     Many years from now, after you have years of experience and many students taught, you might forget how you are feeling right now as you enter your first classroom.  The fear, the excitement, the passion that you have for your career as you start your first position.  But, more importantly, you might forget who you are as an individual.  Your hopes, your dreams, your goals for life and for the classes you will inspire. You have a purpose for your life.  Write it down.  

     I ask you, before the year begins, to put your current self on paper so that your future self can look back and see where you began.  

     Someday, you might need to read that letter.  You may laugh at the person you once were.  You might realize there are things you want to bring back out from your old self.  Perhaps, reading about your reasons for being a teacher in the first place will light a new fire.  You might even just see how proud you are of the teacher you became and the all students that have better lives because of you.

     Part of being a great teacher is reflecting on our teaching.  Start your career off right, and do a little self-reflection.  Write it down for your future self.  

With Excitement for You,

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