A Letter to New Teachers

In the last few weeks I have noticed that there have been many educators walking the halls of my school waiting for their interview. This scene makes me remember what I was like five years ago when I was in their shoes. It inspired me to write this letter.

Dear Me Five Years Ago,

I know you are feeling excited to finally be done with college and be out into the "real world". I also remember you feeling scared out of your mind about the "real world". I know you were ready to start your back-up plan, but I'm sure dental school would not have been that much fun anyway. Remember it is not about the paycheck. Be sure to use all of that passion you have for teaching everyday. Your passion is what gets you a job and what has been keeping you excited to go to work. Don't take your passion for granted. Don't be so worried about how you seem to your co-workers. Trust your gut and always do what you know is right for kids. Don't feel like you have to resort to teaching like you were taught in school. Again, trust your passion. Do get involved with co-curricular activities. It's a great way to get to know the students. Take an active role in finding your own mentor in the building. They will be your life-saver on many occasions. Share your ideas! Don't feel like you don't have enough experience for anyone to care about your ideas. It isn't about years, it's about being a committed life-long learner and the passion you have for education. Don't listen to others that want to crush your spirit. Do get on twitter as soon as possible. The amount of learning and networking is astronomical. Build a great PLN and use those conversations to help foster your passion. And finally, just remember that you can't control everything, but you can control what happens in your classroom. Strive to be the best version of you and not any version of someone else. The next five years will at times feel like a roller coaster and sometimes like a sprint. You will love every minute of it.

The Older, Wiser You


  1. Everything you say in this letter is what every new teacher needs to hear. During our first year as teachers, we all feel overwhelmed and want to be sure to do right by the students, but there is so much to think about, and so much pushed our way that we are held accountable for that makes our first year so stressful. Keeping our focus on what we were hired to do,and concentrating on that piece in a proactive, positive way is the key. I wish I had read your letter before I started teaching, so many hears ago.

  2. Fantastic advice. I will be sending your letter to some newbies on my staff.

  3. AnonymousJune 01, 2011

    What a beautiful post. It is just what I needed to hear as a student teacher. I often feel nervous and not good enough, so these words were very comforting. Thank you.


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