‘If I’d Known Then What I Know Now’: Teachers Write Their Younger Selves A Letter

Teacher Appreciation Week is a time when we let those in our lives who teach our kids know how much we appreciate them. It's in May each year, but how about we tell them right now, too? They could use the love and mental hugs anytime.

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I feel the pressure.

Dear Lyla...

Dear Joey...

Dear First Year Me...


Hey, kid.

Remember when dad said that the first six months of anything is the hardest? Well, that is completely true here.

Everything is going to be okay. Things may seem tough right now, and at times you may feel like you want to give up, but please don't.

Just know that you will make a great teacher.

You are probably wondering, "Why in the world did I ever get into this profession?"

Just take a deep breath. I know that everything feels overwhelming -- terrifying even -- but you're going to make it through this.

Those kids in front of you, they want to learn. They need to know. Try every crazy thing you think of. In the end, those are the things they'll remember.

Your students need you there in front of the class, and they truly appreciate all that you do for them, even if they don't show it all of the time.

You'll have trouble the first day of school with a student throwing a book at you. It'll miss. But don't worry, that student will come back five years later, introduce you to his new family, and thank you for having his back all the time, even after that first day.

When a kid says your class is BORING, don't take it personally. It happens to everyone.

Holding your kids accountable is the greatest act of love you can give them.

Teaching is never an exact science, and it's okay to struggle to find the right answers.

This is one of the most important lessons to learn as a teacher: You will fail. You will make mistakes. And, you will embarrass yourself. When you do, accept it with grace and humility.

And don't be afraid to ask for or admit you need help.

You will also learn that you will never stop learning to become the teacher you wanted to be on day one. I want you to know that what you expected to happen on the first day of school won't happen until maybe the third, fourth, or even eighteenth year of your teaching.

Lives and futures depend on you. That's scary and exhilarating.

And you will know that this is exactly where you need to be.

No matter what you might think, you are doing a good job. Through it all, the good and the bad, just trust yourself.

It's gonna be OK, and seven years later, you're still going to love coming to work every day.

So keep up the good work, seek help from those around you, and just know the work of a teacher is of the greatest importance. Your Future Self...

Soul Pancake, subscribe!

There may be small errors in this transcript.

This clip was created by Soul Pancake and Edutopia.

Jul 11, 2014

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