It’s your first year of teaching! Congratulations! As you embark on this journey, let me give you a few words of wisdom...well, not really wisdom...just stuff you learn from teaching:
- You bring a lot to the table. There will be times that you feel (or someone else makes you feel) like your voice doesn’t matter, but trust me, it does! You bring the fresh perspective that we ALL (if we are willing to admit it) need.
- You will want to quit. There WILL be THAT kid that is hard to love, but you will love her anyway. There will be days that you do EVERYTHING wrong. There will be times (day after Halloween, day before Christmas break, Valentine’s Day) that you just throw up your hands and acknowledge you are simply hanging on until 3:30. But there will also be the last day of school when the kid who drove you nuts all year walks across that stage and you start to cry or that day when one of your students READS!
- You will fall in love. With THAT kid. You will fall in love with lots of kids. They do that to you. They drive you crazy and break your heart. Most of them you will never hear from or see again, but they are all worth it. Every bit. Some of them….you will become part of their lives. You will get to know their families (shout out Jimmy’s mom!), and you will have boxes of notes that they wrote to you when they were 6...10...15…Treasure those.
- You will learn more in one year than what you learned in 4...or 5 from college or any alternative certification program. There is nothing that can prepare you for your first year. Really, your first five years. I know that seems like a long time, but it goes by in a flash. Enjoy it. Learn.
- You WILL make us proud. The fact that you CHOSE this profession makes us proud. You have hundreds of thousands of teachers who have your back, so go out there and do your thing. There will be plenty of people who discount your decisions, who try to legislate your classroom (without knowing your students), who try to undermine your expertise...and YES, you DO have expertise. BUT...there will be others who support you, show you possibilities, listen, and make you better. Latch on to those people. They are what you want to be.
WE are glad you are here. Go make a difference.