Posted tagged ‘new teachers’


September 1, 2009

It has been months since I have written here; and even longer since I have reflected and written on anything educational. I am not going to apologize for my absence because I needed a break, and just because I haven’t been writing and reflecting publicly, does not mean I have not been thinking. For the most part, I enjoy blogging, but, there are times when it starts to feel cumbersome or stagnant… times when I need to stop for a bit.

So, what is my inspiration? What has prompted me to write again after my months of silence?


The beginning of the school year always makes me nostalgic. Nostalgic for my first year teaching. Now, don’t get me wrong… my first year of teaching was hard (you can read about it here); but I was filled with zeal and enthusiasm and a naivety that I no longer have.  Oh, I still LOVE education and teaching, but there is nothing that matches the first year of your teaching career – when you walk in your classroom, see all of the desks and realize that YOU are in charge of imparting knowledge to a group of adolescents. It is terrifying and gratifying rolled in to one.

I love working with the new teachers; it helps me recapture a little of that lost idealism. It is fun to hear them discuss their students and talk about their lessons. And, it is gratifying to lend a helping hand when they start feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.

The first week of school is over, and we are in to the second week… and it is good to be here (maybe a little great actually).

So as I think about my first year teaching and the years that have passed since, I have some advice for you newbies:

  • Get to know your students because… they are worth knowing.
  • Give yourself a break when you need it – we all make mistakes; realize yours, correct it and move on.
  • LISTEN to your students and give them the respect that you would like.
  • Even that student who makes you want to tear your hair out is someone’s baby… so be patient and kind.
  • Keep learning and trying new things!
  • Ask for help AND take it.
  • Share your successes and failures with your colleagues.
  • And remember, that no matter how large and grown-up your students are, they are still adolescents who need guidance and understanding… cut them a break sometimes.

And for those of you who are new, I offer you hope… when you have a bad day with your students, I need you to relax, breathe and think, “they will thank me some day”… because they will.

I offer proof… Here are some words from a couple of my former students who have found me on Facebook.

“…I really do want to thank you for being such a great teacher, you cut me some slack sometimes and that made me try even harder because i knew i couldn’t let you down so thanks!!”

“…I’m in college right now. I go to the Art Institute and I’m going for culinary art….OMG who knew. Well thank you for everything……just to let you know you were my favorite teacher.”

Endure those tough days because it is worth it… THEY are worth it.