As they laughed and talked while waiting to be seated, I thought about the fact that this person had finally reached a day where they could celebrate the end of their career. In that brief moment, I wondered what the beginning of that person's work journey was like. I wondered if that person was excited and nervous when they got the news that they'd been hired for their first job.
And that made me think back to my first year as a classroom teacher. Although I appreciated the support I received from both of my cooperating teachers during the previous semester when I was a student teacher, being handed keys to my own classroom was definitely uncharted territory! Weeks before school started, I remember racing thoughts going through my mind. Thoughts such as: What will my students be like? What will my grade level team be like? What if I teach the lesson wrong? What if a student gets sick in the middle of my lesson...what will I do? I had so many questions. I even remember telling my mother how I hated being considered the "brand new" or "first year" teacher. But her response to me was simple: "Everybody had a first year and if they could do it, so can you".
Now 25 years later I write this post hoping to encourage first year teachers who will begin their journey in a matter of weeks. If you're as nervous as I was, I have a couple of suggestions that not only impacted my first year, but my entire career in education. So head on over to the Intentional Instruction Podcast to listen to the episode! For easier access click the three dashes on the top left side of this page, then scroll down to "podcast" and click. You'll see several platforms where you can listen to the show.
Next month, I'll do part 2 of this blog and I'll share more tips that'll support you on your new journey. Of course I've included additional resources to go along with this post. Just click on the Intentional Instruction Toolkit below to get to the articles. As always, I hope you find these resources useful.
While we continue to bask in the sunshine during these dog-days of summer, remember to stay safe and practice social distancing when out and about. I also encourage you to prepare your mind for the new opportunities that you'll encounter during the upcoming school year. Do your best to remain positive, and don't forget to practice self care. You'll see how those small things will go a long way. Until next time...go out there and be GREAT!