Friday, September 12, 2014

A Letter to My Former Self

Dear Former Self,

I know it's your first year of teaching. I know you are super nervous. What you are about to experience this year WAS NOT covered in your higher education courses.   But I'm here to tell you, it's okay.  You are going to survive this year.....and many more to come. And remember how you said at your first Back To School night that you couldn't wait until you had been teaching for at least ten years?  You know, because you thought it would be easier?  Well I'm going to share some things with you.

You were right. Being a teacher who can speak of past experience to parents at Back to School night is easier.  But the butterflies in your stomach that appear at least 4-6 hours before you know you have to present to the parents? No. Those don't go away. You still have them ten years later.  And the parents and all their questions?  No. They don't question you nearly as much as they did your first year.  But let's be honest. You are a better teacher.  You continue to become a better educator every single year.  And those parents who seem to question every move and decision you make in your still have them ten years later. You are just much better now at handling them. You don't take their questions as personally as you did your first year. And you take it all with a grain of salt. You do know what you are doing and your confidence shines through later in your teaching career.

And remember that parent that you swore was going to be the end of your teaching career during your this first year of teaching?  Well now look back on them with a sort of bittersweet fondness. They made you tougher. They made you better.  They helped lay the foundation for you to become a super organized teacher. And you wouldn't be where you are now ten years later without them.

So while you are stressing about how you are ever going to get all the planning done, the grading completed, the meetings, and the never ending paperwork finished, I'm here to tell you that ten years later you are still doing it. And you are doing it with a smile.  You love your job.

So stand up tall, first year former self. Because ten years later, you are going to be super proud of the teacher you were and have become.

You - Ten years later


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