Dear new teacher,
You know that feeling you have right now? Like this last week and a half are just dragging, but at the same time going too quickly for you to finish everything you need to do? The feeling of so looking forward to the break because you will get to feel human again, but also knowing that it will fly by and kind of already dreading going back in January? The feeling of “Oh crap, I have to do this for another whole semester starting in just a few weeks”?
That feeling goes away eventually.
This job is excruciatingly difficult for the first couple of years. It just is. It doesn’t have to be completely miserable, but it will not be sunshine and rainbows. Anyone who tells you differently is lying.
But if you stick with it and fight through the difficulties, that feeling, that overwhelmed, underprepared, ill-equipped feeling – it fades. And one day you will be at the end of a semester and you will look around, and while you will still be busy, you will also be hopeful. Capable. Confident. Looking forward to all the amazing things you will do with your students when you come back in January.
I don’t know when this will happen for you. I would love to give you a specific timeline, a day you can count down to, but it doesn’t work that way. All I can promise you is that this job is worth the tough days.
It’s worth the long hours and the headaches and the nights you can’t get to sleep and the mornings where getting out of the car and walking into the building requires a really good song and mental pep talk. It’s worth the difficult phone calls home and the lessons that bomb and the times you say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
It’s worth it because there will be times you call home to tell a parent that their child did something awesome, and they will be so grateful. There will be lessons that don’t just go as you’ve planned, but become great shining moments of TV movie-worthy classroom interactions. There will be times when you have the right words at the right time and you will get to speak life into a student’s soul.
So take this upcoming break and do the things that make you feel human. Eat good food and spend time with family and enjoy your friends. Come back to your classroom in January looking to the future with hope because a day is coming when you will stop and look around and realize that you are finally able to be a teacher and a human at the same time without even having to think about it.
And when that day comes, you will look back on this day, and you will know that it was worth it.
You, my dear colleague and fellow warrior, are in my prayers. If I can be of help in any way, please do not hesitate to ask.
With all my love <3