George Lucas Educational Foundation

If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day of Teaching

If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day of Teaching

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If you could write a letter to yourself on your first day of teaching, what words of encouragement and insight would you offer? Edutopia and SoulPancake teamed up to see what teachers had to say in this video for Teacher Appreciation Week.

See a behind-the-scenes video here!

Ready to write your own? Jump in the comments below and share how #TeachersMatter!

You can also share this video on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Comments (31) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Jen W's picture

Excellent information here. Will be sharing with student teacher for sure!

magicalmaths's picture
"Maths is like magic, but without the lies."

I love this idea and will be doing a twilight CPD with all my faculty with them writing letters to themselves this year!!! Brilliant!

Melanie Ann's picture

I love this video! I haven't started a full time job yet (only student teaching and a summer school position), but I can already relate to most things. For instance, I hated the first time I heard a student say the assignment I had planned was boring. I definitely took it personally, and still do. I need to try and get away from taking it personally. Also, the idea that a student who would once throw a book at you, but down the road remember you and still keep in touch is amazing. That is honestly my dream!

"Professor" Paul GTO Briones's picture
"Professor" Paul GTO Briones
Host and Co-Creator of Virtual Science University & Pre-AP Science Instructor

Dear "Professor" Paul O. Briones

You are almost at the end of an incredible and adventurous journey! You have been in the trenches of Texas Biology Classrooms for the last thirty three years! You know you have made a difference by the hundreds of notes that you have received through out the years. These last few years have been incredible for you with over 8 million unique visitors coming to your on-line teaching site and more than four thousand students that have been in your classroom! But, you are not done! You have so much more work and adventure in front of you. You have been on an innovative journey but you have not landed on MARS yet! Yes, one day one of your ex-students will end up being one of the first human beings from Earth to explore MARS! You have been challenged at all levels of your mentality but you will rise up every morning ready to "LET IT SHINE" cause you know you are on a journey that is far greater than your personal life! Your are on a journey to empower as many young people as possible and they will be the STARS that will radiate back at you when you have run out of energy and will be ready to officially leave this world. Your legacy is to carry on the legacy of your 2 G Grand Aunt who never gave up on anyone! So move on and remember this is a DREAM that is being lived out and will be attained! All of the STARS that will radiate out in the sky will SHINE back at you remembering that you never gave up on anyone and always made a difference!
"Professor" Paul O. Briones

Mary Langer Thompson's picture

You will reach many. Listen to others, learn all you can, be creative, go to conferences, and wear comfortable shoes!

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Mary, I think the point about wearing comfortable shoes can be a blog post all on its own. That and something about bathroom breaks. :-)

API Clinic's picture
API Clinic
Clinical Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist

Inspirational :-) Thanks for sharing

And Remember no 2 days should be the same, so go ahead have fun and enjoy your journey

PaulKFox's picture
Retired Music Teacher and Performing Arts Curriculum Leader

Note to self on my first day: No one else needs to know you are fearful of failing and do not know all the answers. All that matters is that you CARE about the students, and will do almost anything to nurture their success!

About the "If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day Teaching" video:
Nicely done! Thank you for a truly touching and uplifting piece.

Mike Dugan's picture
Mike Dugan
Middle School PBL/Entrepreneurship Education

Remember also- regardless of all the "important" content you think you MUST cover in the school year, you don't teach that- you teach a kid...
a) to remember he is human
b) grades are NOT that important...being a good person is
c) being good doesn't mean being perfect
d) it means smiling, crying, laughing, and being afraid
e) knowing that the oldest person in the room
f) your teacher, really does care
g) ABOUT YOU!!!!

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