Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"First Day Me": A Letter

I have always been inspired by the video, If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day Teaching! If you haven't seen this video, it might be a great way to wrap up your year :-)

I've always wanted to write my own "first day me" letter, but have never really given myself the time. I thought, writing one for today's SOL would be a good idea...

Dear First Day Teacher,

Yes, I know how scared you are! You just got the phone call last night; you have nothing planned; there are no textbooks; and you don't know anyone at your new school. But, you have your passion and your knowledge and your conviction! These three will get you through your first day.

You will encounter one student today who makes an impact on you for the rest of your career. He will lie to you, but you will forgive him. You will walk him home every day after school because his grandmother is too ill to come get him. And, even though years later, you will shed tears to find out he ends up in prison, just know that the difference you made in his life for those few short months, were worth all the pain and suffering. 

One of the lessons you learn on your first day is that you will fail, but in failure, you will also succeed. Don't be afraid of failing because your failures will shape you, motivate you, and empower you to keep going! 

You will earn the reputation as a scary and strict teacher, but you will also earn the affection and respect of your students. Those coming up through the grades will fear you, but the moment you greet them at your door on their first day in your class, they will understand that they need not fear you, because you will love every child that comes through your door, even on the days when you can't stand them. Yes, there will be those days. But, don't let those days discourage you. You will get past those days, and you will remember why you became a teacher! 

To help, try to remember how you feel right now, because this feeling is the passion that will drive you for the next fifteen years! The butterflies in your stomach? They'll return every year as you walk out to greet your new group of students. Remember this feeling, because it is one of the greatest feelings you will ever experience. 

Now, go get those students waiting outside your classroom door: say hi to their parents, welcome them in and smile.

Your Future Self


  1. Thanks for adding the link so I could watch a great video and then read your inspiring letter. I am finishing my 22 year of teaching and on my team is a teacher finishing her first year of teaching. You gave me the idea for us to watch this video together as we end our fabulously great/hard school year. Thanks

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the video, Sally, and will use it with your first-year colleague :-) Thanks for sharing your idea!