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You speak from experience!

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You speak from experience! Most first year teachers want to make a difference and become that teacher that everyone likes and is impressed with. All teachers must understand that they will not always be able to maintain this perfect image. The best advice you gave is too let loose and have some fun! If you spend so much time working on trying to be perfect, you will drive yourself crazy. If you take no time out for yourself, you probably won’t be in a good mood much of the time. If you are not happy, your attitude can sometimes reflect on your students.

I would like to thank you for

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I would like to thank you for this encouraging and enlightening blog. I am working on my teacher’s certification and I was already planning how to schedule my time and structure in my classroom would be utilize. Needless to say, it was mentally setup in some similarities as yours. Now that I realize how exhausting you became, I am glad to have insight before I lose out on the small details.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. I recently had my first year experience and it's refreshing to know that it isn't uncommon to have perfect aspirations for the first year and fall short. Textbooks and lectures could only prepare me partly for the GRAND experience of my first year, but the experience has done wonders. I think this should be a required conversation for all new teachers. Who doesn’t want to be the absolute best teacher?? Similar to you, my first year errors have definitely served as stepping stones for my upcoming second year and I look forward to continued progress. Your three points are worthwhile.
Thank you for the transparency!!

I am here to learn and share experiences with my peers.

First of all let me say

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First of all let me say thanks for sharing your experience. I am a college student who will be heading to the class room in the not too distant future. I believe that this is extremely useful information for people like me who have not yet started.

A friend of mine told me some years ago "learn from the mistakes of others, because you will not live long enough to make them all yourself." So for me, all the little pointers; stop to take photos, relax and have a laugh with the kids, maintain a social life etc. are mistakes that I certainly don't want to repeat.

Its really about "balance" not perfection. Thanks again for sharing!!!!

I just recently started

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I just recently started subbing in Houston this past May and discovered many significant aspects regarding teaching. I like the blog that was posted and once I get a long term position I will make sure I utilize her analyses on first year teachers. I find that interesting the point she made about being the perfect teacher with the perfect lesson plan and how she had no life. I could see how as a first year teacher could fall into that. Of course, we all want to be the best possible teachers, but in the process you cannot forget about yourself.

Secondary Health Teacher

My first semster teaching

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I really enjoyed the blog; it was insightful and pleasant to read. When I started my first semester of teaching it felt like I didn’t have any time to do anything because I was too busy making lesson plans. But as the school year started to wrap up at the end of May I looked back at how much fun I essentially had with my students. It makes me want to capture those priceless memories for the next school year to come and truly enjoy my year instead of stressing over lesson plans every day.

Graduate Student As a

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Graduate Student
As a graduate student, reading your post has given me a lot of relief. I don't even have a teaching position yet and I have already begun visualizing how I am going to set everything up and what kind of activities I am going to do. My mom was a teacher for about 20 years. She use to do her lesson plans for the upcoming week on Sundays. I use to help her with all the decorations for her room and even help her with after school tutoring once I was old enough. Your post still opened my eyes to somethings that I had not realized yet. Like how she would come home, cook dinner, then continue working on things for her students. She was dedicated. Even to this day some of the students from the very first class she taught still call to talk to her. That's the kind of teacher I want to be. Now I understand how I can be a great teacher and have a personal life. Thank you for your post.

I agree as a future teacher

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I agree as a future teacher that I going to make mistakes but I just need to enjoy the journey and have fun. I have teachers told me if you don't do different things besides teaching it can lead to burn out in the first year of teaching. The photos is a great idea because it gives you new ideas in the future and it gives you life memories that lasts a lifetime. The journal is a good idea to write your thoughts on a weekly basis and then look back to see if changes are needed in your classroom in the future. Great article!

High school librarian in Massachusetts

Learning to refresh!

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You are so right! The first couple of years of teaching can be utterly exhausting. I didn't have an elementary classroom like yours, but I understand the desire to feel like you are in control of something, because so often you feel a bit...well...out of control!

The end of the school year is a great time to reflect on how we can stay energized and focused on what is most important: building the kind of relationships with our students that will lead to them being excited, motivated learners. In fact, I just wrote a blogpost about this topic myself: http://convergenceinthecommons.com/2013/06/06/how-teachers-refresh-durin..., so I think it is something that we all take seriously, especially at this time of year.

Thanks for sharing your story and suggestions!

1st grade teacher, NY

This is my first year

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This is my first year teaching, in a small school in NY. I often forget that it is okay to not be the perfect teacher. At the beginning of this year, I too spent far to long in my classroom making sure everything was perfect. Luckily, as the year progressed I became aware of my "issue". As I started to relax, I saw the benefit through my students. I was happier, because I was more rested, and so were my students. I found that not every lesson will be perfect. Like you said its all about the journey. I would change how I started the year because it led me to a new way of teaching. I really enjoyed reading your post, and I am going to start chronicling my experiences.

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