Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear First Year Pernille

Image from here

Dear First Year Pernille,
You did it!  You got the job you set your heart on and now comes the part you have been looking forward to; teaching!  I know life has a lot in store for you this first year, already you are 4 months pregnant on the first day of school, and yet there are just a few things I want you to know before you start.

Stop stressing over your room!  Now is the time to be outside going for a walk, not laboring over the placement of posters, bulletin boards or welcome signs.  The kids will hardly notice it so give yourself a break.  Even if it feels like a hallway bulletin board competition at times - it's not.

Ask more questions.  Your teammates are some of the kindest and smartest people around.  Don't feel that you are a burden or that you should already know.  You are new, don't feel like you have to act like you already know the answer.

Trust your gut.  Feel that little tingle in your stomach?  Besides the baby, that's your intuition trying to tell you to listen to it.  So absolutely go ahead and use some of those same programs but then spend some time finding yourself as well. Make this your room with your teaching style, not a watered down version of someone else's.

Allow yourself to fail.  The students love it when we fail, why?  Because it shows we are humans.  The sooner you embrace your failures as another step in learning, the sooner you can get over it, and the more you will be a role model for the kids.

Don't beat yourself up.  Not everything will be perfect, even for an overachiever like yourself.  Some days will be amazing, others will not.  Don't worry there will be more good than bad but when those bad ones come around - give yourself a break.

Smile.  Love. Laugh.  Share.  Think.  Reflect.  Question.  Be kind.  Be brave.  Be you.  Everything is going to be just fine.  Oh, and do get on Twitter.

6 comments:

tech guy said...

Great advice....I wish I would have read this 17 years ago.

rcantrell said...

Pernille, reflection can be so wonderful and look where you are now! Some day your kids will hopefully reflect and see how lucky they were to have time with you. Until this happens enjoy the journey and celebrate often.

Justin said...

Great post! Self reflection is highly underrated by many people. It's so easy NOT to take the time to do it. But wow, it's so powerful when it happens.

Great idea. As always, thanks for sharing!

- @newfirewithin

PeterBrady said...

Thank you so much for this post!

I am a pre-service teacher just now working on my student teaching. I often worry about trying to do the perfect thing every time, and end up being so worried about failing at a lesson that I lose my ability to read the kids and go with the flow.

Thanks for reminding my to use my creativity, trust my gut, and be myself.

Any other sage advice for a beginner just starting out?

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Peter, the one piece of advice I would give anyone in education is to start following the hashtag #edchat on Twitter. You don't have to even be on Twitter to follow it. Reach out to others, make connections, and start borrowing ideas from everyone. Also trust your own voice as a teacher.

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