Dear First-Year Teacher,
Summer is finally here and you’re thinking you just might be able to handle another year of teaching. A couple of months ago, however, you weren’t so sure. One Sunday you wrote: “I am dreading going back to school. I only have eight days until spring break, but I don’t feel like I can make it.”
You were filled with a sense of hopelessness as you looked back over the school year: “I just feel like there are so many things I did wrong in the beginning of the year that are making my job so much harder than it needs to be. I wasn’t strict enough, I didn’t establish a good routine, and I don’t think I’ve really taught them much of anything.”
However, even in your distress, you were reflecting on your practice, identifying the things that didn’t go well, and thinking about the changes you could make. Reflection that leads to positive change is the mark of an effective teacher. (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you’ve already revamped your routines and procedures for next year.)
Oh, sure, there will be times when you feel as though you’re faking it, and that you can’t understand why you still have a job—because (you think) if the principal knew how little you know, she’d fire you in a heartbeat.
But guess what? You weren’t pink-slipped and you weren’t let go at the end of the year. In fact, you’ve already signed a new contract. Obviously your principal believes that you can do the job you were hired to do—so do it!
But not now. Summer’s here. You need a break. Rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Only then will you be ready for the first day of school.
Yours for reflection and rejuvenation,
Magical Mystical Teacher